The Good Shepherd

(Note: This meditation was given on the occasion of appointing Elders.)

As we prepare to appoint men to shepherd this congregation, it would be well for us to consider both what it means to shepherd and to be in the care of a shepherd.

Fix Your Eyes on Jesus

We live in a violent and uncertain world. It’s virtually impossible to pick up the paper or turn on the radio without being confronted with some fresh atrocity or outbreak of unrest. War and terrorism are no longer things which just happen in distant places, but have the ability to touch us and our loved ones, personally. There are times when we feel like crying out like the prophet Jeremiah, “We looked for peace, but no good came; for a time of healing, but behold, terror.” (Jeremiah 8:15, NIV)

The New Covenant

Luke records that just prior to His arrest and crucifixion, Jesus ate a meal with His disciples. “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”” (Luke 22:19-20 NIV)

Authority

If we are honest with ourselves, most of us probably have a little trouble with authority. The truth is that we have a tendency to resent it. We’re an independent lot and we don’t like somebody telling us what to do. We like to be in charge and, quite frankly, we like to think that we know more and better than the other guy.

Why the Lord’s Supper?

Why do Christians celebrate the Lord’s Supper or Communion during their Sunday assemblies? In short, because Jesus asked us to. The emblems remind us of His sacrifice on our behalf and of the covenant relationship we share with Him. Elsewhere, I have suggested that the entire focus of our assemblies should be Christ, and Him crucified. When that is our focus, it is amazing how the cross of Christ, and the memorial meal He asked us to celebrate, illuminate everything else. It is fascinating to me how rich and multi-faceted the Communion becomes.

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