Something to Ponder….
This week’s Scriptures consider Jesus as the Good Shepherd. If you are like me, you also think of Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd.” Perhaps these scriptures are timely as we think about how we will be as a faith community when things open up after the pandemic. While we have been told that at the moment faith communities are indefinitely closed, there will come a day when we can gather together again. What will this mean for Kamloops United Church? Will we be different? It is unlikely after the experience of the pandemic that we will be the same. So, how will we be different? Are there things that we were doing before that we might want to change? What new practices do we want to adopt? Lots of questions and pondering.
There is a universalism about this week’s Scripture lessons. The Good Shepherd has other sheep that must be found and included. There has been much commentary on this thought through the ages. What I think is clear is that the world that Jesus envisioned has not concluded with those people that are now within the sheepfold.
There are far more beyond this particular pen. What does beyond mean? Beyond the church? Beyond our culture? Beyond the faith of Christianity? Might it mean that Jesus was thinking beyond the traditional circles of those whom we include in the Christian faith and traditional formulations of the church?
Perhaps these scriptures call us to imagine way beyond what we have yet imagined to be the limits of the church? If so, then how can Kamloops United Church be an invitational place, open to those who Jesus refers to beyond the “sheepfold?” What ever it means, it seems that Jesus is inviting us to work with the truth that faith and spirituality are far broader than we can imagine.
Blessings for the coming week,