Shepherds

November 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

We have just elected new political officials locally to take their positions.  Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24 speaks directly to those who identify themselves as the “shepherds” of our time.  “Shepherds” is a common metaphor for kings, or political leaders.  The message is a harsh one.  Ezekiel warns against “shepherds” who fail in their responsibilities to feed their “sheep.”  Instead of feeding their sheep they have been fattening themselves by neglecting those who are marginalized in the political and economic systems.  In his commentary on this passage, James Limburg suggests, “Bob Dylan’s song catches the sense of this first part of our text effectively: Come senators, congressmen; Please heed the call; Don’t stand in the doorway; Don’t block up the hall…;There’s a battle outside; And it is a ragin’; It’ll soon shake your windows; And rattle your walls; For the times they are a changin’.”  However, the good news is that despite the failure of our earthly shepherds, there is the Good Shepherd who has not forsaken those who are suffering under the mismanaged systems of our society.  The Good Shepherd will rescue them and bring them home (34:13-14), and He will make them to lie down in green pastures and will be their caring Shepherd (34:15-16).  Can we rely more on the reliable Good Shepherd than the failed shepherds?

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