January 15, 2011

Cannibal Shepherds

Zechariah 11:4-17

“I am going to raise up a shepherd … who will not care for the lost, or seek the young …”
Zechariah 11:16


These verses tell us that when God’s people forget to gather the lost, a different spirit takes over. Faithful leaders are replaced by spiritual cannibals. The good shepherd breaks his staffs of grace (favor) and unity because his flock won’t heed them anymore. Pretenders step in with their personal agendas and false promises. At the end of the Old Testament era, the kingdom was carved up into competing sects and self-serving traditions.

So it will be at the end of this age also. And will anyone remember the mission?

Hallelujah, God will! The New Testament testifies to the Lord’s remembering. Our eternal Shepherd came in the flesh. Though betrayed for a small sum of money and handed over to cannibal powers, he sacrificed his precious life to redeem the lost and gather them into one flock from every tribe and tongue!

Does the church you attend promote the Good Shepherd’s priorities or a different sort of legacy? Do you?

Commit yourself to God’s purposes alone. He will provide you opportunities to be a part of what he is up to in this world. Even if those opportunities seem small and unlikely, they will bear his marks—compassion for the hurt, the weak, the confused, the discounted, and the lost. Go where Christ’s rod and staff are reaching the lost and leading them home.

Dear God, it’s easy for us to forget your purposes. Remind us of your grace, our unity, and our mission. Amen.

About the author — Norm Prenger

Rev. Norm Prenger is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary. He pastored churches in Alberta and British Columbia before he was disabled by a heart attack and a post-operative stroke. He now lives with his wife, Gwen, near Thunder Bay, Ontario. He enjoys fishing, writing, drumming, and encouraging his fishing partners and neighbors to follow Jesus.

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