The Worthless Shepherd

This meditation is based on a passage for November 23, 2010 in the Daily Lectionary Year 2 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993).

Text: Zechariah 11:4-17

Reflection and Question: Shepherd images for God and God’s agents are common in both the Old and the New Testaments. Usually, the shepherd is benign, as in the 23rd Psalm reflected upon on Monday. Here in Zechariah, however, the shepherd leads the sheep to slaughter. The bad shepherd here “does not care for the perishing, or seek the wandering, or heal the maimed, or nourish the healthy.” The second half of Zechariah is apocalyptic literature. But the actual leader whom the prophet refers to here is unknown. What might be a modern image comparable to the shepherd in Scripture?

Prayer: Almighty God, spare us the bad shepherds, we pray. Though we know You can send them among us to lead us astray, we ask for Your mercy. We look to Jesus as the good shepherd who cares for His sheep. We will seek to follow Him. Amen.