by Darren Pope
Click here for your printable verse to carry with you today.
‘Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Take care of my sheep’ (John 21:16).
Cravings for single-origin roast and bespoke baked items crafted daily onsite are satiated amidst a proliferation of minimalist cafés, carved out of loading docks and hidden cubbyholes tucked away in cosy laneways across our cities. Menus scratched on blackboard walls and the constant call of ‘Order up!’ translates into chefs scurrying about in cramped backrooms to create distinctive and stimulating sensory dishes.
Unspoken, yet central to the culture of niche eateries, is not just the culinary experience but also a strong sense of identity through shared community and connection. These qualities are also foundational in our church communities through our focus on noticing needs, reaching out in compassion and caring for each other.
In dialogue with Peter (John 21), Jesus asks, ‘Do you love me?’ Peter’s response is a heartfelt ‘Yes!’ Jesus continues, ‘Feed my lambs. Take care of my sheep. Feed my sheep. Follow me!’ This conversation with Peter highlights the importance of being nourished and actively engaging in ‘doing life’ together. This invitation from Christ, active as a verb, is shared with all people who are called to serve. Each day, Lutheran communities respond to this invitation. Our shared ministry and mission is a response to what God has already done for us through Christ.
Amid the busyness of re-opening businesses and church buildings, global uncertainty, financial upheaval and challenging conversations, the daily menu can seem overcrowded. Jesus has a way of cutting through all of this, recognising our humanity and coming to us, inviting an individual response through action.
This invitation doesn’t cause us to scurry about like a café chef, though. Instead, it clarifies for us that identity and connection are fostered and nurtured through community.
Our daily focus is clear. ‘Feed my sheep.’
Yes, Lord, you know that I love you. Help me to care for the people you have called me to serve today. Amen.