Rev Sheila Cameron’s sermon to the St Margaret’s congregation on 20 November – on the last Sunday after Pentecost, kept as the feast of Christ the King – included this challenge …
Christ the King is the God who lived among us and shared our humanity. If we are to represent his kingdom and make it visible among us, then we must show God’s concern for those who struggle in this world: the poor, the lonely, the rejected, the vulnerable and the suffering. Our reading from Jeremiah 23:1–6 speaks of shepherds who have failed – evidently kings and leaders who let the people down by not protecting or nurturing them, perhaps pursuing personal ambition or the desire for power or wealth. The sheep have been scattered and have become prey to wild animals.
What are the hazards that threaten today’s flocks? Country folk know that shepherds are experts in the ways of sheep, aware of all the dangers they may encounter and the diseases that may afflict them, which suggests to me that Christians should be experts in the ways of the world if they are to reach out to others as Christ did, with courage and empathy, and also taking the same kind of risk that led to his suffering and death on the cross. Are we up to that challenge, prepared to live sacrificially, as we must be if we are to be effective shepherds in today’s world?
Do read the whole of Sheila’s sermon at this link.