Sat, 21 July 2018
(Jer.23:1-6; Ps.23:1-6; Eph.2:13-18; Mk.6:30-34)
“I myself will gather the remnant of my flock
from all the lands to which I have driven them
and bring them back to their meadow.”
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. In verdant pastures He gives me repose.” How true to Isaiah’s prophecy are King David’s words; and how true is Jesus as the “righteous shoot to David” who “shall reign and govern wisely,” who shepherds the people of God. And how blessed “the house of the Lord” in which we dwell “for years to come.”
Brothers and sisters, is not that shore onto which Jesus disembarks in our gospel today the place where He “refreshes [our] soul”? Does He not make these “restful waters” for all who are “like sheep without a shepherd”? For is He Himself not the ocean in which we are cleansed and so find our peace; does His teaching not shepherd our wayward hearts into secure pastures?
“He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.” Is Paul not true in his preaching when he claims that through Jesus all “have access in one Spirit to the Father”? Though before there may have been Gentile and Jew and a “dividing wall of enmity” between the two, though still division may persist in the nations of man, yet the Son has come “that He might create in Himself one new person,” that He might reconcile both with God.” And so all are one in His peace which He offers “through the cross.”
“This is the name they give Him: ‘The Lord our justice,’” for He does “what is just and right in the land.” To this land He has come; upon this earth He has disembarked. And now “moved with pity” He teaches us truth; “He guides [us] in right paths for His name’s sake.” And faithful is He in His promise to “appoint shepherds” to lead us in His grace. Already in our gospel we see the apostles rejoice in “all they have done and taught” by His authority. And so, peace we should find now in the walls of His Church, our daily bread offered at His pulpit and upon His altar.
Thank you, Lord, for fulfilling your promise in our midst each day.
Thank you for shepherding us to eternal glory.
Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.
Music: "We Are God's Breath" (first half) from Breath, the Apple Rises, fifth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.
O LORD, in Jesus we find our peace this day,
for He shepherds our souls with care.
YHWH, we are like sheep without a shepherd, scattered to the four corners of the earth, but your Son comes to gather us into His arms and make us one in His flesh. For He looks upon our lost souls with pity and leads us kindly to your House. In His blood let all be anointed, that we might find peaceful repose with you.
How blessed are those whom you look upon in your goodness, LORD; how blessed those who seek your Son. For they shall find Him ready to bless them with His presence and the Word from His sacred lips. And no longer shall we be wanting for anything – if we have Him we are indeed at peace.
To restful waters let us come with Him, He whom you raise up to do your will. Then our souls shall be refreshed, LORD, and in security we shall ever dwell. O the justice that rains down upon us by His presence in our midst! Through His Cross, from all enmity we shall be set free.