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Reflections of John 10:11-18

March 27, 2012

Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away– and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.” John 10:11-18

Have you ever hear someone refer to the Clergy of a congregation as “hired help”?

In light of this gospel reading what does that say about how they see us?

The lectionary reading can cause a riff between the members of the congregation and the clergy.

The clergy can be referred to as resident theologians, but for someone to say they are just the hired help sends to those in earshot a negative connotation. And if we let it… can make us question other things the clergy person might do.

Fr. Bob never visits people in the hospital.

How do we know if Fr. Bob does or not? Who let Fr. Bob know someone was in the hospital? Do we take it upon ourselves to let Fr. Bob know?

Have any of you been in either end of this conversation? Or hear some say these words about a clergy person?

Have you every stood up for the clergy person in question?

The title Christian calls us into relationship with each other and with God and to model our life after Christ Jesus.

As each of us knows Jesus calling us into our own calling is often challenging for ourselves and to the people we serve.

We cannot run from our calling not matter how difficult our path maybe. That would make us “hired hands,” wouldn’t it?

If we are true to our calling God will give us the means to do the work we have been given and succeed.

So if in your daily discourse you here someone use the Phrase “hired help” when speaking of clergy persons, Stand up for the cleric, so that the works and word of God cannot be hindered be the pettiness of people that have not known their own calling from the Creator of us all.

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