Tuesday, January 24, 2012

CHRISTIAN UNITY: Day 7 - Changed by the Good Shepherd

Day 7
Theme: Changed by the Good Shepherd
Feed my sheep (Jn 21:19)

1 Sam 2:1-10
Not by might does one prevail
Psalm 23
You are there with your rod and your staff
Eph 6:10-20
Be strong in the Lord
Jn 21:15-19
Feed my sheep


Those who prevail over suffering, need support from on high. That support comes through prayer. We read about the power of Hannah’s prayer in the first chapter of the Book of Samuel. In the second chapter, we can find Hannah’s prayer of thanksgiving. She realised that some things happen only with the help of God. It was through his will that Hannah and her husband became parents. This text is an example that strengthens one’s faith in what would seem to be a hopeless situation. It is an example of victory. 

The Good Shepherd of Psalm 23 guides his sheep even through the darkest places, comforting them with his presence. Those who place their trust in the Lord have no need to fear even the shadows of dissolution or disunity, as their shepherd will lead them into the green pastures of truth, to dwell together in the Lord’s own house. 

In the Letter to the Ephesians, the apostle Paul urges us to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power by putting on spiritual armour: truth, righteousness, proclaiming the Good News, faith, salvation, the word of God, prayer and supplication. 

The risen Lord urges Peter - and in his person each disciple - to discover in himself a love of Him who alone is the One True Shepherd. If you have such love, then Feed my sheep! In other words, feed them, protect them, care for them, strengthen them – because they are mine and belong to me! Be my good servant and tend to those who have loved me and who follow my voice. Teach them mutual love, cooperation, and boldness as they go along the twists and turns of life. 

As a result of divine grace, the witness to Christ that has been confirmed in us obliges us to act jointly for the sake of unity. We have the ability and the knowledge to bear such witness! But are we willing to? The Good Shepherd, who by His life, teaching and conduct strengthens all who have put their trust in His grace and support, invites us to cooperate with Him unconditionally. Thus fortified, we will be able to help one another on the road to unity. So let us become strong in the Lord, that we may strengthen others in a joint testimony of love.


Father of all, You call us to be one flock in Your Son, Jesus Christ. He is our Good Shepherd who invites us to lie down in green pastures, leads us beside still waters, and restores our souls. In following him, may we so care for others that all see in us the love of the one true Shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.

Questions for reflection
  1. How does the Good Shepherd inspire us to comfort, revive, and restore the confidence of those who are lost?
  2. In what ways can Christians of various traditions strengthen each other in confessing and bearing witness to Jesus Christ?
  3. For us today, what can be the meaning of St Paul’s exhortation: “Be strong in the Lord.... put on the whole armour of God”?

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