The good shepherd (John 10:11-18), the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31-46). Two of Jesus’ most beautiful and powerful teachings. Both have their origin in this chapter.
Jesus’ ideas come so deeply and so often from scripture.
It’s a wonderful promise of showers of blessing from God, but also a really vivid reminder of what God thinks of as an irresponsibly lived human life.
People are compared to bad shepherds and pushy sheep. The metaphors are a bit mixed up. In both instances though, ungodly people are criticised for selfish lives that don’t look after the weak, aren’t community minded; that prioritise #1.
Shepherds and rams don’t have to be powerful. In the human and animal scheme of power, they are reasonably far down the influence chart. But they must use the energy and influence they do have on behalf of others.
We need to do what we can do worthily.
And so often, the means of practical grace is community: shared burdens, multiplied energy and effort.
I am, regrettably in the light of this word of God, in a completely lazy and indulgent phase. My brain is definitely in neutral. I take ridiculous wrong turns on roads I know perfectly well, it’s just fuzz inside the noggin.
The only task I give any effort to is planning my new Zealand holiday. Oops on the worthiness stakes.
I’m theoretically writing a song based on Ecclesiastes called “Relax” (thanks Annie!). But the well of creativity is dry. I just keep mucking around. Chasing after wind, form is mimicking substance.
I’m theoretically finishing off a wall in my son’s room. He’s 16, he could use one. But everything in me rebels against being task- oriented, so I am making exceptionally lack-lustre progress.
In my defence, it’s very hot. And the doom of raging bush fires everywhere only increases the mood of existential pointlessness.
It will be a big year. Plenty to do at church and work and at home. This lull before the new year is never permanent.
I have noticed that the energy levels don’t come back quite as strong with the advance of years, but I’m working smarter, or at least more pragmatically, and that compensates.
It kills me that I will miss a planning day on Jan 20 with the indigenous group at work. But I will still get to help a lot no doubt.
In the meantime, I eat leftovers, chase Google rabbit holes for hours as I feel like it, have long, circular conversations and wait for the time to gather stones together. Can’t rush time.