November 16

Ezekiel 34:11-16

“I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep…I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice.” vss. 15a-16

Ezekiel liked the metaphor of shepherd to describe the relationship of God to the people of Judah. Like lost sheep they had been scattered and left to fend for themselves–but Ezekiel knew that God’s love was greater than their misfortune. One day, he told the masses huddled on the banks of the Euphrates in Babylon, the Lord would find them and bring them home again, just like a shepherd searching out lost and straying sheep. His words of hope have resonated with God’s people in every generation and have particular relevance now as we consider the millions of refugees all over the world. Abandoned and forsaken by their nations they’re on the move as never before. Gathered into camps, huddled at borders, they yearn for security of every kind. They’re looking for welcoming arms, for food, clothing, and housing–and they’re been shunned and rejected. But not everywhere! In every nation there are those who take seriously their charge to bind up the injured and strengthen the weak. What a blessing it has been for those lost sheep, beloved children of God, as people of faith have taken on their shepherding role, welcomed them into their lands, and offered them healing and hope. 

Thought for the Day: Why are people reluctant to welcome refugees?

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