May 19, 2019

'God Forbid I Should Forget!'

This sermon is the second in a 2-part series, which began last Sunday (May 12, 2019)

I exhort the elders among you to tend the flock of God that is in your charge, exercising the oversight, not under compulsion but willingly, as God would have you do it—not for sordid gain but eagerly.    
—1 Peter 5:1b-2

The sermon I’d originally written for last week for Good Shepherd Sunday was destined to be over 30 minutes long. I suppose I could’ve pared it down and just tossed half of it. But the image of the shepherd is so rich in meaning, that I decided I’d do a two-part series on it. Last week I talked about the different professions used in the Bible as metaphors for God. And I talked a bit about how the shepherd image in particular—before it ever referred to God—was

May 15, 2019

Huguenot Cross?

The medallion on the baptismal font of Pilgrim Christian Church of Chardon, Ohio (see above), with its eight-pointed cross and four simplified fleurs-de-lis,

Two Fine Collie Dogs

The Lord is my Shepherd, aye, and he has two fine collie dogs—Goodness and Mercy. They shall see me safely home. 
—anonymous Scottish minister

May 12, 2019

Enduring and Lost

This sermon is the first of a 2-part series.

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
—John 10:11

When was the last time you spent any time with a shepherd? I mean quality time—not just chatting with a shepherd at a cocktail party. Probably not recently.

That’s because there just aren’t a whole lot of shepherds around these days… at least not in this part of the world. The same thing could be said of cobblers and blacksmiths and coopers. In the case of this latter list, we don’t actually talk about them much; and I don’t see many depictions of them in stained glass or bulletin covers or inspirational paintings. The image of the shepherd, on the

The Lord's My Shepherd

Today is the Fourth Sunday of Easter, traditionally known as Good Shepherd Sunday. In addition to a passage from John 10, we'll also say or sing the 23rd Psalm:
  • The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 
  • He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters; 
  • he restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his Name’s sake. 
  • Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 
  • Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou anointest my head with oil—my cup runneth over. 
  • Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.