We are sheep. That is essentially a given when we look at human beings from the perspective of scripture. That is not a pejorative term or a bad thing in any way. I have spoken about our sheep-ness before so I won’t do it again here. What this Sunday’s texts took me toward was less our sheep nature and more toward our call to be shepherds.
One of the points I try to make in the sermon, of which there is only one this week*, is that we are all called to be shepherds. Some people think that the charge given to Peter, to “feed my lambs” is unique to him and I am certain they are mistaken.
Peter had a reason, what I am sure to him was the very best reason ever, to think that he had no future ministering with and for Jesus. He had denied his Lord not once, not even twice but three times in the space of just a few hours. What makes this story more poignant is that each of us has our own reason or set of reasons, which we are sure are the very best reason or reasons EVER, to have no future ministering with and for Jesus. This is simply not true.
Do you know what qualified Peter for ministry? I’ll give you a few hints. It wasn’t that he was a fisher. It wasn’t that he was alive during Jesus’ incarnation. It wasn’t that he spoke Aramaic. Okay, no more hints. It was because he loved Jesus. That is it, the beginning and the end of our call to be shepherds is that we love Jesus. We don’t need to be elders or deacons, we need to love Jesus. We don’t need to be formally or informally trained, we need to love Jesus. There are things that might increase our effectiveness as shepherds but there is nothing we lack to be shepherds once we love Jesus.
St. Mark’s Presbyterian 130414_StMarks
*As I think I have mentioned, okay complained about, this has been the very worst winter ever for driving. I have had more weather related cancellations in this one winter than in the rest of my life combined. This Sunday, April 14th, there was a foot and a half of snow on one of the roads I need to drive on to get to Knox Presbyterian so I followed the path of wisdom and only went to St. Mark’s.