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for Sunday, November 26th, 2017
Of Goats and Sheep
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. [...]
The Hero or The Goat?
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The moral of the story is don't be a malicious old goat (or a self-righteous sheep)! Blessed are the merciful, the pure in heart, the meek, those that hunger and thirst for righteousness.
Lectionary for this Month (with cartoon links):
The Good Shepherd
11 For thus says the Lord GOD: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. 12 As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. 13 I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land. 14 I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord GOD. 16 I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice.
Culling the Herd
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Ezekiel proclaims God as the one true shepherd who will seek out God's sheep, restore the weak, find the lost, heal the injured and provide them rest. I'm guessing that the fat and strong sheep are those that did evil to the others either directly or indirectly, or continued to disobey God. Other places that mention the Lord as shepherd include Psalm 23, Isaiah 40:11, and John 10:1-18. Sheep generally get good PR in the Bible.
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