Every once in a while I get really depressed about the state of the church. Everything seems wrong. Some people attempt solutions to the ongoing cycle of sin passed from person to person, generation to generation, class to class, yet ultimately, if one is to be real with him/herself, we all contribute to the brokenness and perpetuate more, except for by the grace of God, which seems far too absent. In these times, I find great comfort in reading Ezekiel 34, reading myself into the bad shepherd character, for I too am that bad shepherd. I also understand Christ’s role in redeeming the bad shepherd. However, I am comforted by the fact that God himself will shepherd his sheep…despite me…despite the church.
…'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the shepherds of
…10 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them. 11 "'For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. 12 As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. 13 I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the … 15 I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. 16 I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.
17 "'As for you, my flock, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will judge between one sheep and another, and between rams and goats. 18 Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet? 19 Must my flock feed on what you have trampled and drink what you have muddied with your feet? 20 "'Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says to them: See, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.