Monday, March 23, 2020

Scattered Sheep

In my planned reading through the Old Testament this morning, I came to Jeremiah 23. I was struck by the first verse in John Goldingay’s translation.

Hey, shepherds who led astray and scattered my flock.
This season is exposing the reality that the shepherds of God’s flock have allowed them to be scattered. They have taught their sheep that they can live anywhere they like, provided they come together for two hours on a Sunday. In hindsight, this appears to have been a mistake.

Sheep need to be together. Sheep live together. Shepherds do not let their sheep wander where they like, and bring them back together once a week. That would be far too dangerous, because the sheep could get lost, or be taken by wolves, or other predators. The is true of God’s flock. They need to be together.

All the believers were together (Acts 2:44).
Sheep that are scattered are vulnerable when trouble strikes.

Allowing God’s sheep to be scattered was a serious mistake, which is now being exposed. In my book Being Church Where We Live, I explain how followers of Jesus can come together with others to serve him in the power of the Holy Spirit. This is important, now more than ever, because God does not want his sheep to be scattered.

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