Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


We sheep need a shepherd

In reading and praying through what the Bible means to us, we are surrounded by a "great cloud of witnesses," the many Christians who have come before us. It is good to learn how a passage of scripture spoke to previous generations of Christians. Tomorrow's Gospel reading is John 10:1-10 in which Jesus refers to himself as both the gate by which the sheep enter the sheep fold and the shepherd of the sheep. What follows was written by Clement of Alexandria (died 215 A.D.) who was born in Athens, Greece, came to be best known as a teacher in a Christian school in Alexandria, Egypt and later moved to Cappadocia, Turkey. Alexandria in particular was a major center of learning with a vast library. It was the closest thing of its day to a major university and it was in that cosmopolitan marketplace of ideas that Clement taught those on a deeper quest for the Truth about Jesus.

About our passage for tomorrow, Clement wrote,
a fifth century depiction of Jesus as Good ShepherdIn our sickness we need a savior, in our wander- ings a guide, in our blindness someone to show us the light, in our thirst the fountain of living water which quenches for ever the thirst of those who drink from it. We dead people need life, we sheep need a shepherd, we children need a teacher, the whole world needs Jesus!

If we would understand the profound wisdom of the most holy shepherd and teacher, the ruler of the universe and the Word of the Father, when using an allegory he calls himself the shepherd of the sheep, we can do so for he is also the teacher of little ones....Such is our Teacher, both good and just. He said he had not come to be served but to serve; and so the gospel shows him tired out, he who labored for our sake and promised to give his life as ransom for many, a thing which, as he said, only the Good Shepherd will do.

How bountiful the giver who for our sake gives his most precious possession, his own life! He is a real benefactor and friend, who desired to be our brother when he might have been our Lord, and who in his goodness even went so far as to die for us! (The Teacher 9, 83, 3-85, a: SC 70, 258-261)
Frank wrote an answer at to a question about where people who believe in predestination find that doctrine in scripture.


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