I noticed something today in the readings for Good Shepherd Sunday, a kind of distillation of the conflict between the Christianity that believes our primary call is to bring others to Christ and those that believe our primary call is to serve the poor and the needy.
In John's Gospel, Jesus says, "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."
In John's epistle, we hear, "How does God's love abide in anyone who has the world's goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?"
Of course the argument can be made is that one of the needs is to hear the saving word of God. But the very next line in the Epistle is "Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action." So I'm going for the caring for physical needs angle. Not that I'm doing too well on that front.
There's much more I could say about all of this, but I have to get ready for church.
And for some fabulous shepherds, check out the video below: