Today’s Scriptures: Lectionary selections from the Revised Common Lectionary Year C
Today marks the final Sunday of another liturgical year. We have experienced the anticipation of Advent, the joy of Epiphany, the torment of Lent and Holy Week, the ecstasy of Easter, the empowerment of Pentecost, and heard a call to action and justice through Ordinary Time. Today we reflect on the function of the Christ summarized in Old and New Testament writings.
Human leadership ultimately fails the people. As well intentioned as they may be (or as self-serving as they may be), human leaders are human and have all the flaws that come with the limitations of the body. In Jeremiah, God, specifically addresses those leaders who misled through through their own evil intentions. The prophet specifically refers to these who misled the people shepherds add scorn to their ineffectiveness. Shepherds played a valuable role in society as they protected the flock that provided food and other products for the community. The shepherd’s job was to keep the flock together and safe from predators. Effective shepherd held much respect; ineffective shepherds held no respect. Using the term shepherd placed these false leaders into a position of scorn.
Jeremiah does not spend the entire passage bashing those who have harmed the people, he goes on to tell of the one coming to reunite the people with God like none other has. The passage is cited upon the birth of John as his father recognizes he is the one paving the way for the prophesied leader.
In Colossians we get one of the clearest pictures of the identity of Christ. He is purely and completely God - the creator and beneficiary of all creation. For us, though, he became the physical manifestation of God so that we, with our limited ability to grasp the full nature of God could have something we could comprehend. In one passage we get the eternal history, purpose, and eternal future of God with us.
Very often, just when I think I have begun to fully grasp the nature and purpose of God in my life, something happens to remind me that God continues to be bigger than my mind can fathom. Rather than being an unbearable frustration, knowing there is more to find keeps me seeking.
Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts. www.commontexts.org