The last academic year has perhaps been my busiest since I began teaching at Trinity School for Ministry. My apologies to those who perhaps thought I had abandoned my blog. Summer is finally here. I preached the following in June term chapel last week.
It is often the case that different passages of Scripture contain variations on the same themes, or, sometimes, the same symbols. When we look at the different ways in which the similar themes and symbols are developed, we can find ourselves in the midst of a conversation among the biblical writers in which they not only address one another, but ourselves as well. What are those common themes in this morning’s lectionary readings? How do the apply to the church today? More to the point, I presume that I am speaking to a group of shepherds this morning, and shepherds is one of the themes. That is, I presume that most of you in my audience today are either clergy or studying to be clergy, or have some kind of leadership role in the church where you are responsible for other Christians. How do these passages speak to those who are called to be shepherds?
First, the passages talk about enemies. More specifically, God’s people have enemies. (more…)