Pondering for Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of the 5th Week in Lent: Year 1

 Morning Psalm 119:145 to 176; Evening Psalms 128, 129, 130;
Jeremiah 25:30 to 38Romans 10:14 to 21John 10:1 to 18

“I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.”  (John 10:16)

Our Lord Jesus uses the “I Am” identifier about himself twice in our passage for today.  He says that, ” I Am” the Gate, and that “I Am” the Good Shepherd.  This is the Identifier God used at the burning bush with Moses. God told Moses to go and tell the Israelites that “I Am” sent him (Exodus 3:14). And just as Moses gathered all the tribes of Israel to be one following of God, so too, our Lord Jesus is going to call other faith traditions and denominations to be one flock. 

I think what is key here is for each of us to belong to some flock. We all need to be a part of a faith community. When Jesus began his ministry on the shores of Capernaum he didn’t say, “go and do your own thing.” No, he said, “Follow Me.” 

Over the years in the development of the Christian Church we have come to be many denominations.   No denomination gets everything right.  I personally believe, (for me) the Episcopal Church is the best way to worship God through our Lord Jesus. Perhaps the Episcopal Church is not the best way to worship for others. But that does not make other faith traditions or denominations bad or less holy; just another flock that will be joined with Jesus to make up the one flock.

The point is, we all need to belong to some flock somewhere. Jesus meets us where we are, and in the faith community we are in.  It seems that God sends buses not cabs. God in Christ Jesus collects groups of people, more than individuals. We need to belong to the household of God in community and await God’s call. This gathering of others reminds me of our Lord Jesus after His resurrection when he called out to his followers who were fishing. “When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread.  Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” (John 21:9 and 10) this is another message of gathering not only of different people but also those who only recently came to believe.

The main point is that we all need to find a spiritual community to be with. And I would suggest attending many and different kinds of services. Your spiritual comfort will be revealed to you through the Holy Spirit. It may or may not be the pastor or the preaching.  It may be the feel of the parishioners. It may be any number of environmental or spiritual affects acting upon your soul. But remember this, when you find it, stick with it. Our Lord Jesus will join all faithful groups together into one holy family. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.

Let us live to love, more than we just love to live, listening to what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do.  John

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