Thursday, January 18, 2007

Good shepherds, good news

On the way to the airport Nathan pointed out the golf course on the way, sitting there like the lamppost in Narnia.

The story is that black politicians in Montgomery complained that it was discrimination against the black community not to have a golf course there like the ones where the rich white folks live.

It's important to remember that Montgomery, like most southern cities, is far less racially segregated than most northern ones.

It's odd to see that golf course among poor people. Poor people don't play golf much. It's expensive to play. The black people that will actually be using the golf course is the aforementioned black politicians, not their constituents. Instead of serving their constituents, these politicians used them to get something for themselves in place of something the community could actually use.

That's mostly what happens. How much more it works that way with our religious leaders, who use their congregations to build their kingdoms, rather than leading them into God's kingdom!

A good shepherd doesn't feed himself by means of the sheep, as we read in Ezekiel 34. He lays down his life for the sheep. The golf course in Montgomery showed me that laying down our lives for the sheep is not mostly about getting killed in dramatic fashion. It's the little deaths that the shepherd has to endure to rescue the sheep from their enemies, first and mostly from the shepherd's own appetites. The shepherd is the principal danger to the sheep. The shepherd's job is first to defend them from himself.

And the only way that will happen is to learn, as Psalm 23 says, that the Lord is my shepherd. The Lord will lead me out of bondage to my own lusts that lead me to feed myself by devouring the sheep.

You too, if you go there. We're all sheep, and we all get to be shepherds in one way or another. God save us from being predators in that position, as we learn and admit how we are so (1 John 1:5-10).


Blogger Worried said...

Good post Attwood. And thank you for the link to Steinbeck's novel that you posted on Spadoman's blog. I have read Steinbeck but had not heard of that title. I shall access it and read it.

I believe that you are correct about the shepherds. It is my personal belief that the shepherds will be held to greater acountibility in the Judgement than will members of the flock and of others. If there are people who have been turned away because of wrong doing of the shepherds, I think the souls of those who are lost will be required of the shepherds.

1/22/2007 2:38 AM  
Blogger Marty said...

You have great insights Peter.

Glad to see you and Worried have become acquainted with one another. She is an absolute jewel.

1/29/2007 3:26 PM  

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