Readings: Psalm 23, John 10:11-18
Then there are those most important words, “for you!” Where Christ is, there is forgiveness of sin, life, and salvation—for you. Here is God, made flesh in Jesus Christ, who is “for you.” We touch him, hold him in our hands just as he holds us. We feel the promise, taste the promise of Jesus’ presence in our lives, nourishing us, guarding us, guiding us, just like a Good Shepherd.
In the bread and wine, we touch and taste the promise of the Shepherd’s presence with us.
Jesus, who brings life from death, who restores the world to fullness of life in his name, is for you, here, and pours himself out for the world.
Nourished here by the Good Shepherd, we are also sent out—to be the Shepherd’s body in the world. The Holy Spirit’s work of bringing life from death does not stop at Jesus’ resurrection. He lives, that the world may have life through him—and have it abundantly!
Jesus sends his disciples—with the Holy Spirit—into all the world to be his witness, his apostles; to tell the world of God’s love. And not tell, only, but to partner with God in loving, saving, and blessing the world.
“It is when the church gives itself away in radical acts of service and compassion, expecting nothing in return [like the Good Shepherd laying down his life], that the way of Jesus is most vividly put on display*.”
Resurrection, new life, and wholeness come in Jesus, to where the world is most broken.
The church is gently urged by Christ, fed by him, emboldened by the Holy Spirit, to follow our Good Shepherd into the brokenness of the world, where he gives himself—so that all may have life.
Who we are, what we have, around the Lord’s Table is transformed and used by God for incredible, extraordinary mission when we follow him.
That is the good news of Christ.
He gives himself for the brokenness of the world in a way that changes the world, gives people life in the midst of death—however that may look for them.
However that looks for you.
Christ gives himself to free us—free us from addictions and oppressions of all sorts (from bondage to drugs, or addiction to money or property).
He gives himself, and we who are his body experience and witness to that incredible life-generating work when we follow him to the broken places of the world.
At the Lord’s the table, we receive Christ, the Good Shepherd, who is so tremendously, utterly, incredibly for you:
that he sprung the tomb and lives in you today
the he comes to you in bread and wine.
He is for you!
Giving you rest in green pastures, leading you beside still waters, restoring your soul.
May Goodness and Mercy, not just follow, but pursue you,
chase you, track you down!
all your days, as you live in Christ, the Good Shepherd.