Preaching to the Choir

These are some sermons, but mostly lectionary discussions. It also has prayers for some Sundays.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

inklings on Good Shepherd Sunday


Over at revgalblogpals Tuesday lectionary Leanings- Baa Baa Sheep Edition, there is a discussion about being in cattle country and preaching this sermon. Apparently there has been hard feelings and bitter rivalry between the cattle ranchers and the sheep ranchers. How then do you preach to them about the "Good Shepherd'? I grew up in Orange Grove, cattle country, and a farming area also. Many of them were members of the church I grew up in. My hubby grew up on a farm in Texas which included cattle.

One of them, brought up a sermon by Barbara Brown Taylor, where she related the difference between cows and sheep: You herd a cow from behind, but sheep need to be led. So all of the talk about Jesus going before us... to the cross, to the grave, and to eternal and abundant life as well.

One of them shared that on Shepherd Sunday a couple of years ago, one of our town's and church's patriarchs, a retired cattle rancher, whispered to me as he was going out the door "I have no use for sheep and sheep-ranchers!"

Another one shared this; I have always had difficulty dealing with the sheep/shepherd imagry--especially in Jn. Partly it is because I grew up in TX where being a "Sheepherder" was a dirty word.

I asked Mr. Bob, my hubby how he would preach this and this what he shared. The shepherd could be viewed as the cowboy who tends the ranch herds. He goes out looking for the strays, and livestock that may be in trouble. He protects them from the predatory animals, and rustlers.
He does the round up for identifying, branding, shots, medical, whatever they may need. Cattle knows the voice of the Cowboy. The night herder keeps the stock calm, reassured, and secure by his presence and singing. Although we have romanticized them by tv and movies, it is a lowly position. There probably is more he would say but he has to go, and so do I. I hope this helps.

Picture from cowboyprof.com

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