The Shepherding Way

May 12, 2019

Church of the Servant, Wilmington, NC

4th Sunday of Easter
Psalm 23; John 10:22-30

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Church of the Servant, Wilmington, NC

1st Sunday after Epiphany
Isaiah 43:1-7; Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

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Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA
4th Sunday of Easter  
Acts 9:36-43; Revelation 7:9-17; John 10:22-30; Psalm 23

Last Sunday we heard the story of the resurrected Jesus sharing some grilled fish on the sandy shore with his disciples. The interaction with Peter provides the ultimate commissioning of what Jesus’ followers are meant to do. They are to follow Jesus’ example. He has washed their feet, he has commanded them to love others as he has loved them, and in this story he concludes by three times asking Peter “Do you love me?” After the first reply of Yes!, Jesus then says: Feed my lambs. After the second reply, Jesus says: Tend my sheep. And, just for good measure, to the third Yes, Jesus replies: Feed my sheep.

In ancient times the role of the shepherd would have been understood by the hearers. For us, not so much. The closest experience I’ve had to tending sheep happened a couple of summers ago in Iona, Scotland on our J2A Pilgrimage.

sheep combinedIt was our first full day on the small island of Iona. After lunch our group of ten headed out to explore the island, toward the beach and unkempt “golf-course”. As we walked down the rugged road that ran between pastures and homes, we noticed a family in their yard up ahead. They, along with their border collie, were trying to herd their sheep into a corral. When they saw us approaching, they noticed our interest and asked if anyone would like to help. Piper and Shelby were all in and made haste into the yard. Sam Lyles, one of the leaders, stepped through the gate with camera in hand hoping to get some good shots, but quickly learned he, too, had been commissioned to help with the sheep. There was lots of running around, back and forth, flapping arms, yelling “Hah, hah!” and trying to get the sheep to go in a common direction – and I’ve got the video to prove it! It took a few tries, but they finally got it done! Success! Read the rest of this entry »

Hold onto Hope

March 25, 2016

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA
Good Friday 
Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Hebrews 10:16-25; John 18:1-19:42; Psalm 22

Today is a dark day. Even when the sun is beaming brightly outside, we draw the shades; we dim the lights; we wear dark clothing; we speak in hushed tones; we kneel before a stripped altar. It is the day of remembering Jesus on the cross. We consider our part in the drama that unfolded thousands of years ago.

576111_10200190424516062_2102912940_nWhen we journey through Holy Week, a week set-apart for remembering, even reenacting, some of the final acts of Jesus – washing the feet of his disciples, sharing the bread and wine at the table, walking the path of the cross to Calvary, and now, knelling at the foot of the cross – it’s easy, even natural, to get caught-up in the darkness of the day. Yet, it is called GOOD Friday for a reason. Although it may not seem like it to others looking in, it’s a day that holds in it great HOPE.

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