I myself will gather the remnant of my flock
from all the lands to which I have driven them
and bring them back to their meadow;
there they shall increase and multiply.
I will appoint shepherds for them who will shepherd them
so that they need no longer fear and tremble;
and none shall be missing, says the Lord. (Jer 23:3-4)
God is a good, gracious, and loving God.
In this morning’s first reading from the prophet Jeremiah, we hear about God’s anger over the shepherds who mislead and scatter the flock. We know a lot of shepherds like that, sadly. History has been filled with them.
We do not have to look very far, even today, to find evidence of shepherds who mislead and scatter the flock. Some ministers from all denominations are simply “in it for themselves”. They have little regard for the flock, other than what the flock can provide to them financially.
Tragically, many of their flock often go astray. Some, because they get fed up not just with the shepherd but with the Church as well and leave outright. Others fall under the sway of the shepherd and begin to do what is wrong because that is what they are being told to do and they obey blindly.
Jeremiah tells his people that God will take care of that.
The people who have been disillusioned by poor shepherds will be gathered together by God. Jeremiah called them the remnant.
When I was younger, I always thought remnants were carpet squares. It was not until my mother explained to me that, yes, they were carpet squares, however, they were left over, cast aside squares that were no longer being used. I found out that “remnant” also extended to fabric and other items.
Then, I could understand more what Jeremiah meant by remnant. The people who were “left over” or “cast aside” were to be gathered together by a real shepherd, a loving shepherd, a shepherd who would never lead them astray.
Thank God for His great love!
You and I are called to shepherd God’s people. I in my role as pastor, you, in your role as parent, supervisor, friend — whatever your station in life. We need to be faithful to God and to God’s call lest we lead those entrusted to us astray.
FAITH ACTION: In whatever role that you have been handed — spouse, parent, employer, friend — make sure that you are faithful today. Pray with your charges. Share your faith. Shepherd them wisely lest they go astray.