Text: Jeremiah 23:1-6
Have you ever had an encounter with a sheep? Have you ever met a shepherd? Do you know anything about them outside of the images that you read in the Bible? For contemporary people, the metaphor of sheep and shepherd has become mostly theoretical, while for Jeremiah’s audience it was commonplace and familiar. The shepherd leading his flock is a familiar image in church life, but one which does not use a description of day-to-day life to describe a religious image. Rather, it is a back-formation—using the religious metaphor to describe a present experience.
What other metaphor that comes from your daily experiences—in your business, your church, your family, our nation—might you suggest for shepherds and flocks, for pastures and folds? What needs to be said about the expectations and actions of the leaders? Of those who are being led? What relationships are there between the two? What does using a different metaphor add to your reflection on this interrelationship? What does it lose?
– Andy Kille