Psalm 100:3, Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people the sheep of his pasture.
We are the sheep of his pasture and therefore when we are in need we call out with the author of Psalm 80:1, “Give hear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock.”
Psalm 77:20, recognizes that God leads his flock through shepherds. “You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.”
But what happens when the shepherds are not faithful to their call and responsibility? In one of the Old Testament lessons (Jeremiah 23:1-6) for Christ the Sunday, the Lord speaks through the prophet Jeremiah. “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture.” It’s not only the sheep, the people of God, who belong to the Lord, but the pasture, the land on which they dwell that also belongs to God.
The worthless shepherds have driven the flock away instead of gathering them. Because they have not attended to God’s flock, the Lord will attend to them. Then the Lord himself will act as the shepherd and gather his own flock unto himself. He will set shepherds over them who will care for them, so that they will not live in fear and wonder which way to turn, nor will any go missing.
The shepherd God chooses will be the Christ, who is the Good Shepherd, who will lay down his life for the sheep. He will be known as “The Lord is our righteousness.”
With those words, we leave behind an old church year and enter the New Year as once more we tell of the stories of the coming of Day of salvation through Jesus Christ, birth, ministry, and death and resurrection.