“I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.” vs. 16
The early church had an expansive view of Christ’s flock. The disciples loved the good shepherd imagery and they realized that Jesus had come for the whole world and not just his early followers. There were never any limits on the size of crowds during the years of his ministry and there would certainly not be any after his resurrection. The Spirit would blow wherever it wished and everyone who heard the murmurings of the Spirit would know the love of God. And after 20 centuries we can see how effective that Spirit-led ministry has been. There are billions of people of a variety of faiths and religions who know the God of love and who practice loving in their daily living. Unfortunately not all understand that we all belong to one flock and one shepherd. We forever are bickering about rights and rituals and waste precious energy in trying to prove that our particular little group of sheep is particularly favored by God. It may be that one day we’ll get beyond that pettiness and focus on celebrating our unity–in the meantime, our call is to treat the varied and strange people in our neighborhoods as our flockmates. And when that happens our blessings will be magnified!
Thought for the Day: Who are not part of the one flock?