Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday in Easter 3: Humble shepherds and sheep

Opening Sentence
Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57

Commemoration: Toyohiko Kagawa
O God, whose blessed Son became poor that we through his poverty might be rich: Deliver us from an inordinate love of this world, that we, inspired by the devotion of your servant Toyohiko Kagawa, may serve you with singleness of heart, and attain to the riches of the age to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Psalter: Psalm 25

Lessons: Exodus 18:13-27; 1 Peter 5; Matthew 1:1-17, 3:1-6

Shepherding the flock of God is a calling which one does not enter into for any reason other than sheer joyful obedience. Peter exhorts those who have been thus called to carry out their task of pastoral oversight "not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock."

The sheep, likewise, are exhorted by Peter to "be subject to the elders." A humble shepherd will be loved and respected by the sheep. Humility is to be the order of the day for the whole household of God.

Jesus himself, "the chief Shepherd," stands as the ultimate example. Just as he submitted to the will of the Father and, after enduring suffering and death, was exalted and glorified, so all who follow his example of humility and suffering will, at the proper time, share in his glory.


Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us