“The Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rearguard.” Isaiah 52:12
“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me. And I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10:14-15
These are days of holy remembrance … Thursday: The rearguard, trusted protector, God’s own Son, Jesus is taken by the enemy, betrayed by one of his own troops, for a sack of coins (foretold by Isaiah in his next chapter of scripture).
Friday: The shepherd dies and the sheep are left on their own.
Saturday: Stay inside. Lock the doors. It is a time of grief, and disappointment, and fear. How could everything go so wrong? The prophesies of Isaiah and Jesus are hard to interpret and understand. Easter vigil is not in anyone’s vocabulary. What’s to hope for?
There are many who are living Saturday now, who can’t see an end to the piles of rubble and filth, and violence; no food, no money, no jobs; nobody sees; nobody cares; nobody’s gonna help. We who have seen the grace of Sunday are called to watch for the wandering, to care for and restore them; to welcome and include everyone with hospitality and kindness, as belonging to and loved by the shepherd.
Jesus went on to say “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” The community of faith covers a lot of blocks. We live in unity through the life and death of Jesus Christ, whose light and love was for all.
Our Savior and Redeemer, we give our lives back to you. Help us love as you love, and use us to care for all your sheep. Amen