Headlines from First Thoughts

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

What Shepherds Do

Shepherds are protectors and seekers. In ancient Israel, they were the gate of the sheepfold. They laid down at the entrance of the pen at night to protect sheep. In the day, they sought out the missing.

Jesus does the same in John 10. Not only does he protect the sheep but he climbs over the fold to seek out ones that no one expected to be in the pen--not even the other sheep.

For ancient Jewish 1st century disciples, Jesus described how he would go about welcoming us--the gentiles-- into the fold. People who would not normally be welcome into the full breadth of temple customs, sacrifices, and other rituals would now by welcome because he was the good shepherd today.

How quickly the Gentile church of today forgets that Jesus is still leaping over our walls to gather in more lambs. Who are they, how is he doing this, and how might that change how we interact with those people we have labeled as "outside the fold"? These questions, and many more will be discussed at "Home by Another Way."

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