Let's not romanticize the sheep in the story of the good shepherd. Martin Luther says that sheep "are the most foolish and stupid animals" (Complete Sermons, Vol. 2/1, p. 21). We know that this description can also apply to us, for we do all sorts of stupid things -- lying, cheating, backstabbing -- the lifestyle Survivor and other reality shows glorify. Luther's version of the soft, loving voice of the good shepherd is a comforting, loving one, which calls us back to him: "Therefore [Jesus says] joyfully abide in me and let none other rule your consciences.
UPCOMING WEEKS In addition to the lectionary resources there are thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
I have just recently returned from an out-of-town trip, and as I read our selected passages for this week, I find myself reminded of the days leading up to that trip. With a few exceptions, most of the traveling that you and I do is known in advance and planned. And therefore the days leading up to our departure are filled with deliberate preparations.
Mark Ellingsen Ron Love Bonnie Bates Bill Thomas Frank Ramirez Bob Ove
2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14 In an economy like ours that values flexibility, experience and loyalty matter less and less (Alan Wolfe, Moral Freedom: The Search for Virtue in World of Choice, pp.23ff .). The loyalty to legacy is what this story of Elijah and Elisha’s loyalty to the former’s prophetic legacy is all about.
Faith involves this kind of loyalty to roots. What Pope Paul VI once said about the liturgy could be applied to Christian life in general:
I think that we are in a battle for the soul of the church. I'm not just talking about my Presbyterian denomination, although it certainly has its problems. I'm suggesting that we are in a battle for the soul of the whole church in our time.