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This reference will lend itself to a reflection on the It is the message of verse 16 that stands out to me, where Jesus speaks of that other flock that he intends to bring into the sheepfold. Perhaps the reason why this verse grabs my interest is that it seems to resonate with my interests and involvement in interfaith and ecumenical ventures.Who are the sheep in the fold, and who are those on the outside?He is the good shepherd who is willing to lay down his life for the flock (Good Friday), but takes it up again (Easter).Laying down his life is not forced upon him, but is a decision that he has made of his own accord, again with the intention of taking it up again.As Lillian Daniel reminded us in her message at the 2015 Festival of Faith (a gathering of Michigan Disciples and United Church of Christ folk), God is the shepherd, and we are all sheep.

One of the most beloved of Christian images is that of Jesus the Good Shepherd, a metaphor that we see developed by Jesus in John 10. .” When we read this Psalm we often think of David, the Shepherd King—the psalm’s traditional author.When we read this passage, we do so in light of other shepherding images as well—most especially the words of Psalm 23 (the Psalm for the day): “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want . Since Jesus is seen in Christian tradition as the Son of David, the one who takes up the Messianic throne, the shepherding image has taken an important place in Christian life.Indeed, the title pastor that many of us in ordained Christian ministry make use of is rooted in this context.That is, the pastor is the shepherd, with the church being the flock.It is a common metaphor for Christian ministry, but we might want to be careful in our use of this shepherd/sheep imagery.

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Inductive preaching has become popular in recent years in part because preachers have discovered that we no longer can expect our “audience” to simply accept what we have to say. Of course, preachers have always faced the problem of authority.

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