First, my apologies for my neglect of you all, and for leaving you without a word. I’ve been tending to family. I’ve headed towards cyberspace several times to let you know that I had commitments in the flesh-and-blood world, but each time was sidetracked. Thank you for your concern, your prayers, and your kind thoughts. All is well with me and mine, and I’m back – and ready for the Advent marathon!
Last Sunday was the feast of Christ the King. The first reading describes God’s relationship with the people of Israel (and – by extension – with us):
‘For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. 12 As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. 13 I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. 14 I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD. 16 I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.’
How about that verse 16, huh? It seems to me to be a perfect message to go with the election messages we’ve been hearing for the last few weeks. To hear the political parties talk, all of them will feed us on rich pastures – but I have my own view about which ones will prioritise the lost, the strays, and the injured, and which will serve the sleek and the strong.