Tuesday, September 20, 2011
He chose David his servant
and took him from the sheepfolds;
from following the nursing ewes he brought him
to shepherd Jacob his people,
Israel his inheritance.
With upright heart he shepherded them
and guided them with his skillful hand. Psalm 78:70-72
We have been gathered as bishops for nearly a week, praying and learning together, listening to the local people and attending worship in many languages. At small tables we share our personal and local concerns, the needs of our people and the challenges of these times. We have a small legislative session today, but most of our work is understanding better how to respond to the needs of our various communities. We have been called to be shepherds, to use our skills and compassion for the care of all. I am always moved by the brothers and sisters that surround me, those who give their all for God as a shepherd to a diocese.
We hear today in the Gospel,and throughout the readings about the failure of communities and God's disappointment and wrath for misconduct among the faithful. Psalm 78 tells the story of the tribes who failed and how David came to be their leader. We are all invited to hear that our calls and our faith are not an invitation to selfish pride but rather to servant-hood and humility. We are to understand that God's beloved are to be servants of all, moved with compassion to care for the world.
Today, I ask God to help us to serve better, day by day. Help us to put power, control and lust for money aside and to live as shepherds, with the sheep, praying night and day for their safety and care. May our hands be the hands of love and not punishment and may all that we do bring glory to God and abundance to all people.