Henry Neufeld gave two brief meditations on two of the day’s lectionary readings. The first was Psalm 23, a Psalm of comfort for those living in a dangerous and uncomfortable world. Scriptures often spoke of Jesus as ‘The Good Shepherd’ and of us as the vulnerable sheep needing constant guidance and protection. After singing a song paraphrasing this Psalm, Henry turned to John 10:22-32. When Jesus claimed that he and the Father were one, and when people wanted to kill him for blasphemy, Jesus said, ‘if you do not like my words, at least judge me by my works.’ Many modern churches want people to (1) believe, (2) then behave and (3) belong. But Jesus changes that order to (1) follow me for a few days, watch how I behave, and see if you like how I live. Then (2) join the group of others who also like how I am living. Finally as you live within this group, (3) grow in faith and belief while you are being spiritually and emotionally supported by the church. The early church (before being corrupted under and after Constantine) did not baptize people or hear their confessions of faith until their lives had been carefully observed for a full year. Only then would their statements of belief be believed. [JEK]
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