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Jesus is the good shepherd. Biblical shepherds led their sheep from the front, and knew each one by name, and the sheep knew his voice. We are invited to come and feed. Good shepherds lead by example, protect the flock, encourage the whole church to be a shepherding community, anoint with oil, and lay down their lives for the sheep.
We need to learn how to lament. We can do this by using our own words or by using some of the lament psalms that have been given us to help us pray. We need to make a deliberate decision to turn to the Lord, bring our complaint to him, make definite clear requests, and choose to trust him.
We mustn’t have a domesticated view of Jesus. He is exalted in heaven, and our appropriate response is one of worship and repentance. He is also enthroned, and so we should live as a community of kingdom people. And he is also active, pouring out his Spirit. We may be in Lockdown, but Heaven is still open.
Jesus was the heavenly Son of Man of Daniel 7 and yet he came to serve. not to be served. He was glorified as he was lifted upon the cross, with a thief on either side of him. James and John didn’t know what they were asking for when they asked to sit on either side of him.
Like Joseph, the church is called to be a fruitful vine, bearing fruit within our culture and amongst the nations. We may feel forgotten in Lockdown, but God has no more forgotten us than he forgot Joseph in prison. Whilst in prison, Joseph showed God’s love when he noticed the sadness of his fellow prisoners, he continued to believe in the supernatural, and he continued to believe in the sovereignty of God.
On Easter Sunday, Mary, Peter and John found the stone rolled from Jesus’ tomb, not so that he could get out but so that they could see he was no longer there. We should stop, look and listen, to enable us to believe. If we have lost our focus, it’s time to focus again on Jesus.
There was a real and serious problem in the church where vulnerable people were going hungry. The leaders recognise the problem, but they also recognise their own limitations, so they delegate responsibly to others.
Jesus doesn’t come to us to help us fight our battles for so that we can join him in his battle. When we encounter Jesus, we should respond with new worship, a new submission, a new devotion, a new vision a new unity and a new exercise of faith.
The foxes represent small things that might be overlooked, but in fact are destructive, distracting or discouraging. We should catch them by staying close to the King (Jesus) and his bride (the Church).