Sunday, November 08, 2009

Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg on following Jesus like sheep following their shepherd

Judith Fain is a doctoral candidate at the University of Durham. As part of her studies, she spends several months each year in Israel. One day while walking on a road near Bethlehem, Judith watched as three shepherds converged with their separate flocks of sheep. The three men hailed each other and then stopped to talk. While they were conversing, their sheep intermingled, melting into one big flock. Wondering how the three shepherds would ever be able to identify their own sheep, Judith waited until the men were ready to say their good-byes. She watched, fascinated, as each of the shepherds called out to his sheep. At the sound of their shepherd's voice, like magic, the sheep separated again into three flocks. Apparently some things in Israel haven't changed for thousands of years.

Just like sheep, what distinguishes us is not so much the "pen" we inhabit but the shepherd we follow. Some sheep come running as soon as their shepherd calls, but some struggle to obey his lead, going astray whenever temptation strikes. It takes a lot more energy to follow a wandering shepherd than to be cooped up in a pen.

But we are called to be disciples of a Rabbi who is always on the move, one who wants us to go with him, making disciples to the ends of the earth. We need to learn how to recognize his voice, to go where he wants us to go, and to serve and imitate him so that we can share his good news with the world.
Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewishness of Jesus Can Transform Your Faith, by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg, 64-65.

8 comments:

preacherman said...

Amen!
Thank God for these women and their statements of faith. He is that great shepherd who leads us to green pastures. I appreciate this post and thoughts today. I have been truly blessed.

nAncY said...

http://justsaytheword.wordpress.com/2009/11/08/quote/

nannykim said...

Good point--how to recognise his voice....hmmmm....I want to be able to do this better and better.

Oh and my daughter and her family live in Durham ;-)

Ted M. Gossard said...

Kinney, Yes. Quite evocative imagery, but really true to life. A fine book, by the way. Thanks.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nannykim, That means you must get to see Durham and that country. I'd love to visit there. And yes, me too.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Oh nAncY, Yes, you are quite a poet. Taking those words and turning them into poetry. Will wonders ever cease?!!

jps said...

I'm just now getting to this post, but it really ministered to me. Thanks for posting it, Ted.

James

Ted M. Gossard said...

James,

You're welcome. From a great book, one that has influenced me.