May 14 :: Good Shepherd Sunday [txr] :: Bp. Neil Lebhar (notes)

Grateful for your work as a church
Making disciples, reaching out locally and beyond- You are part of a larger vision
To reach the culture with
the truth of the gospel
transmitted through traditions that
transform both individuals and culture
Truth transmitted through traditions that transform

Why does their culture seem to be getting more secular?
Why is it hard to be a Christian in this culture?
Competing philosophies
Personal deafness
Lack of conviction on the part of the Christians that the Gospel must be shared with all
These have always been realities
there is nothing new here under the sun.
And we see them all in the Gospel reading this morning

Turn to John 10
One of the purposes of worship is to get our minds disinfected from the values of the culture
The other voices

The Prince and the two children were standing with their heads hung down, their cheeks flushed, their eyes half closed; the strength all gone from them; the enchantment almost complete. But Puddleglum, desperately gathering all his strength, walked over to the fire. Then he did a very brave thing. He knew it wouldn’t hurt him quite as much as it would hurt a human; for his feet (which were bare) were webbed and hard and cold-blooded like a duck’s. But he knew it would hurt him badly enough; and so it did. With his bare foot he stamped on the fire, grinding a large part of it into ashes on the flat hearth. And three things happened at once.

First, the sweet, heavy smell grew very much less. For though the whole fire had not been put out, a good bit of it had, and what remained smelled very largely of burnt Marsh-wiggle, which is not at all an enchanting smell. This instantly made everyone’s brain far clearer. The Prince and the children held up their heads again and opened their eyes.

Secondly, the Witch, in a loud, terrible voice, utterly different from the sweet tones she had been using up till now, called out, “What are you doing? Dare to touch my fire again, mud-filth, and I’ll turn the blood to fire inside your veins.”

Thirdly, the pain itself made Puddleglum’s head for a moment perfectly clear and he knew exactly what he really thought. There is nothing like a good shock of pain for dissolving certain kinds of magic.

To wake us up from its enchantment
The world is all there is
Grab all the gusto you can
All roads lead to God
Jesus calls the religious teachers of his day thieves and robbers
8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 
Culture tells us over and over again that there are many ways to God
It is true that many people have many different ways that they are trying to relate to God

But if there is truly only one God, it would make a certain logical sense that there's only one way to get to know him.
Anyone else steals his glory.

When we come to worship, when we hear the scriptures together, when we remember the death of Jesus to make that one way possible, we are detoxing
Stamping on the fire
Radiation shower

James Smith
The church is that household where the Spirit feeds us what we need and where, by his grace, we become a people who desire him above all else. Christian worship is the feast where we acquire new hungers—for God and for what God desires—and are then sent into his creation to act accordingly. But the practices of the church are also a spiritual workout, inviting us into routines that train our heart muscles, our fundamental desires that govern how we move and act in the world.


Competing philosophies
Personal deafness
Some sheep hear
Some don't
3... The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

Learning the voice of Jesus
Hear it first in the gospels
Tuning our ears
Tom Hanks
John Mayer
What is Jesus saying to me? To us?
Deafness and Lordship

Lack of conviction on the part of the Christians that the Gospel must be shared with all
We misunderstand
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Have it much more
Have a superior life
Have life to the full, but not life filled with success or perfect health, or ideal marriages

Full of the love of the Lord
Full of seeing him at work in others

People are only in two camps
Those who listen to the shepherds voice, and those who are being destroyed by thieves.
fullness as described here:
Give thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:12-14

Jesus calls us to love others and bring them into this abundant place- his glorious kingdom.

Good shepherd Sunday readings
Peter puts the new life in these terms
24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Abundant life is knowing the Shepherd and having our lives overseen or "Bishoped" for him

Confirmation- declaring  our faith in the good shepherd