A Good Shepherd
It’s a perfect fit to be here at the Church of the Good Shepherd, with the Gospel reading in which Jesus refers to himself as The Good Shepherd, while gathered to ordain Loren Hague to the ministry of shepherd, or pastor, in Christ’s one holy catholic and apostolic church. We have plenty of shepherding images to go around this evening.I went on to explain how Loren is neither a hired hand nor The Good Shepherd and to explain what it means to be a priest. The full text of the sermon is online here: A Good Shepherd.
Yet when Jesus called himself The Good Shepherd, he did so at a time when shepherds were not considered good. Shepherds were held in such low esteem that a shepherd was not allowed to testify in court in the Israel of Jesus’ day. Distrust of shepherds came at least in part as shepherds spent most of their time away from the owner of the sheep. The owner who had no idea how many lambs wear born that year. So shepherds would sell off a sheep or two at bargain prices to make a little extra money for the herding duties. Shepherds were assumed by many to be liars and no better than thieves.
Calling yourself, The Good Shepherd was a little jarring to the ears. “Good Shepherd” being an oxymoron on par with “military intelligence,” “legal ethics,” “Microsoft Works,” or “entertaining sermon.”
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor
Labels: Loren Hague