Yesterday (4/21/2013–”Earth Sunday”) Katharine Jefferts-Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, offered the homily at the National Cathedral. She called me, and you, followers of the Way (that began in Creation and continues—in Love—into our own day with the promise of more to come). Listen:
The 23rd psalm may seem like a romantic idyll, but it’s profoundly about what sheep need – food, water, rest, and the ability to fend off predators. The psalmist describes behavior that is just as essential to human thriving as it is for sheep or goats. In order for any human community to be effective or live in productive harmony, it needs leadership. When we start to talk about godly leadership, or shepherds like Jesus, we mean guidance toward what will nurture the life of the community as well as away from what will threaten or end the project. Good shepherding is life-giving and sustaining, and in the kind of language we use around here, it’s eternal. It is about what is ultimate, gracious, and abundantly life-giving. It seeks the welfare of the whole community, not simply the desires of an individual.
This kind of holy shepherding is meant for all of us, in all our variety.
This kind of holy shepherding is meant for all of us, in all our variety. We aren’t meant to march in lockstep, but to use the varied gifts of our creation and circumstances to gather others and move toward that kind of abundant life ….
Read the complete text of her homily Presiding Bishop uses Earth Day to call for ‘holy shepherding.’ The video of this homily is here.
May we have the grace in our own day to shepherd wisely and well, may we be ‘holy shepherds—a blessing to each other and to all the created order.