Mandated to oversee the flock

John 21:1-19

After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin,[ Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing…. (Read the passage Click here)

A Moment to Ponder

In our Gospel reading this Sunday (John 21:1-19), we see some disciples after the death of Jesus reverting to what they know best – fishing. They had learned a new way of life with Jesus, but with the tragedy of his death, they go back to their routine. The disciples I think are still in a state of flux. They recognize that Jesus has been raised from the dead, but they are not certain what to do about it.  They are still afraid for their lives as followers of Jesus, so they go back into their comfort zone. Jesus visits one more time, and speaks directly to Peter, on whom He had said He would build His Church (Matt 16:18). In verses 15-19, He gives instructions to Peter, to feed His sheep and lambs, to tend them. Feeding and tending means overseeing the welfare of the flock, keeping them on the right path, and nurturing them as well. Jesus tells Peter to do this out of love for him.  John here also speaks to us as members of God’s church to see to its welfare: to feed, nurture, and to ensure its wellbeing.

Take Action

We complain bitterly as members, and lament all the faults of our Church. Like Peter and the other disciples, we recognize that something is happening in our Church, but are not quite understanding how to respond. We remain in our comfort zone, keeping our faith to ourselves and not seeking a deeper understanding of the way we ought to be.  As Jesus tells Peter He tells us. It is our task to ensure we all stay on the straight and narrow way. We have a job; to nurture all believers including ourselves: to remain seekers; to have a faith that constantly seeks understanding; to journey with others as they seek their own understanding.  Just as the disciples were not a homogenous group, we should not expect all members of our faith to be alike. We are all at different stages of our journey. It is the job of each of us to bear up the rest of us in the love and oneness of Christ, using the faith foundations that we all agree on.

 Feed my sheep

A Moment in Prayer

Creator God, you sent Jesus to show us the way of living right. We doubt ourselves and so prefer to stay where it is comfortable. But Lord we really do want to lead others to you. We want to tell your story, the story of Jesus. We want to know you better, to be closer to you, to be one with you. We, therefore, open ourselves to your word and what you are doing in the world and our communities. Through your Holy Spirit, we are guided in how to bear witness and to be Christ to others. We take up the mandate to oversee the flock. We strive to become willing participants till our will become one with yours. Help us to do your will and follow in your way. In the name of Jesus. Amen

Contributed by Rev. Hilda Vaughan