December 23 Flock  

Jesus says, “Feed my Sheep;” I take this to be both spiritually and physically. He also says that the preeminent standard of genuine love is how well you treat the person who is your enemy. And then there is the one we learn as children, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” I’m sure you can find many more references in the New Testament calls upon us to love our neighbor.

We are one flock; we are all born as children of God. We are all born to mothers whose bodies have nurtured us through nine months of pre-birth, Just as Mary did when pregnant with Jesus. Regardless of the circumstances, from the time the seed begins to grow, God loves us. And when it is time for our mortal bodies to be shed, God welcomes us home. I include in this miscarriage, abortion, fatal childhood diseases, war, auto accidents, or just simple old age. God loves his flock.

And we are one member of this eternal flock. And when we take in the meaning of Jesus on the cross, we recognize that all groups, living mortally or just spiritually are reconciled as one loving flock.

To be honest, there are times when I do not feel part of the loving flock. Then I tread passages in the Bible and realize that I am. I look at the lust of David whom God loved. If God can love someone who had a man killed in combat so that he could marry his widow, God can love me with my minor sins. When I read the Psalms, I understand that they are written praises to God, written by this murderer. We revere him as a great moral and spiritual leader.

I also understand the terror that Mary must have felt. She is maybe fifteen years of age when the angel told her of God’s plans for her. As an unmarried pregnant teen, she could have been an outcast and possibly stoned to death for her misdeeds. I say misdeeds because mankind has no sympathy for the mistakes we make. And, I am not saying Mary made a mistal, but others may accuse her of such. Mankind is so intolerant.

When I feel distraught, I think of David and Mary. Both children of God; both loved by God. Both members of God’s beloved flock.

So, brothers and sisters, I pray for your health; I pray for your love. Let us all be loving and tolerant members of God’s beloved flock.

© Russell Kendall Carter

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