Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the LORD. Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the LORD. Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the LORD. The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: “The LORD is our righteousness.” Therefore, the days are surely coming, says the LORD, when it shall no longer be said, “As the LORD lives who brought the people of Israel up out of the land of Egypt,” but “As the LORD lives who brought out and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the land of the north and out of all the lands where he had driven them.” Then they shall live in their own land. (Jeremiah 23:1-8, NRSV)
Woe to you who scatter and destroy the sheep!
To the shepherds of Israel, which would have been the priests and the scribes and the high council, today it would be pastors, and church councils and denominations, you are the ones destroying and scattering the sheep of God!
Woe to us, who think it is all about us.
Woe to us who push our agenda and not God’s.
Woe to us when we get in the way of God moving in this world!
God’s ways are not our ways.
Help us to see the path You have set before us God and follow where you are leading.
Help us to be gathers of your flock and not ones who scatter!
Help us to be and do you will!