True Shepherds Can Emerge From Ireland To The Middle East

The Bible encourages the role of true shepherds of the people and warns against false shepherds. We learn from Ezekiel chapter 34 that true shepherds unite the people in care for the needy and in repair of what is broken in society, whereas false shepherds only look after themselves, abuse the people, and do not tell the truth.

Thirty years ago I was given a large shepherd's crook. You can see me with it in a picture on the home page. Yesterday I bequeathed it to James. It has become clear, to those with eyes to see, that God has called James to a new region to be a shepherd to its people. This may not be in old forms. He can be a shepherd by building up God's kingdom through a network of friendship, places of prayer, hospitality, arts and learning. Tomorrow I go to Ireland to lead a day for New Monasticism Ireland@Milltown, Dublin on the theme 'New Celtic Monasticism for Everyday People' followed by two further meetings. Millions of Irish church people are disillusioned . Could the new monasticism be God's way of restoring trust and dedication so that this precious isle again becomes a land of saints and scholars?

Millions more disillusioned people are rising up against false shepherds in the Middle East. Will these be replaced by leaders who are modern but still self-serving and factional, or by true shepherds who love justice, people and God? There are both true and false shepherds among Muslims, Christians and Jews. The ultimate example of a good shepherd is someone who lays down their life for the people in defenceless love. Do we need a web site that equips a new generation of true shepherds? Contact me on twitter or facebook if you feel inspired to respond.

Posted at 01:32am on 16th February 2011
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