Posted by Rev. Jon Dunbar

Hello saints of St. Paul, this coming Sunday is Good Shepherd Sunday and you will hear this theme in several of the readings. They are: Psalm 23; Acts 2:42-27; 1 Peter 2:19-25; John 10:1-10. The poet John Donne once wrote that “no man is an island”; it’s also true that no Christian is a single, solitary sheep. By following our Shepherd we also belong to his flock. The reading from Acts doesn’t explicitly mention sheep or shepherds, but it still fits well with the other readings. It describes how closely connected God’s first century “sheep” were. They were bound together, first, by their devotion to God’s teachings, but also by their devotion to one another. They shared their time, their food, their prayers – basically they shared everything! (v.44). There is a lot of discussion today about how people connect with one another and what makes a community. Technology, and specifically social media, have brought major (and sometimes negative) changes to the way we interact with one another. The Acts reading reminds us that in a Christian community there is no substitute for time spent together listening, laughing, praying, learning. There is no substitute for the experience of eating the same food, singing the same songs, hearing and discussing the same Scripture readings. These are the activities that bind us together into one flock and unite us to our one true shepherd, Jesus. How do you stay connected with fellow Christians? What shared activities do you find most meaningful?