Life Notes—April 15, 2010
“When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’” John 21:15
I have never been around lambs. My mother, who raised lambs as a child, assures me they are one of God’s cutest creations; and also one of the dumbest. They were constantly finding new ways to put themselves into danger by wandering away from the flock or by not paying attention to their surroundings. If they were not watched diligently, they were sure to find new and creative ways to injure or kill themselves. It is no wonder to my mother why shepherds filled such a crucial role in Jesus’ day, protecting these furry charges from their own stupidity.
It is probably not entirely complementary that we, as Jesus’ flock, are often referred to as lambs. In God’s eyes we must appear too stupid, at times, to distinguish between what is good and bad for our well-being. Jesus, as our shepherd, is constantly watching over us, doing his best to keep us out of temptation and out of the valley of the shadow of death. But in spite of his best efforts, we often wander there, anyway. At least lambs are cute…
So, in the passage above, when Jesus asks Peter if he loves him and Peter assures him he does; Jesus says, “Okay, if you love me, feed my lambs.” Does that mean Peter was to become a shepherd? Does that imply we, today, should become shepherds? Well, maybe not literally; but certainly figuratively. God’s children, even the smarter ones, have needs. Some need food and shelter, some need love and attention, some need clothing and pillows, some need company and conversation. God’s children have needs; and we have gifts. Some of us can give money, others skills, some give time for visiting, others drive those who cannot otherwise easily travel.
We feed Jesus’ lambs by spending enough time with others to understand their needs. Sometimes a little of our time is all they need, other times the needs go deeper and we may help them find assistance elsewhere. But time and attention are always required in feeding lambs. Isn’t it interesting that time and attention are not possessions, like food or money, but are gifts given to us through no efforts of our own? The richest among us has no more time or attention than the poorest. We are only given the choices of this moment. And in this moment, those who love Jesus are to feed his lambs.
Tom continues his “Simply Christian” series with, “Doing Good.” It will be based on the scripture John 21:1-19. Life Worship is at 10:45 in Brady Hall. Traditional services in the sanctuary are at 8:30 and 11:00. Contemporary worship at the west campus is at 9:00.
Come home to worship this Sunday. Can you say, “Baaaaaaaaa?”
Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator