23rd November 2020

“I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day.” Ezekiel 34:12 (NLT).

The resonance between this weeks Old Testament lectionary reading and our current situation is too good to ignore! We are scattered from the Tyndale building at the moment. We cannot gather to worship as once we gathered. Michael and Rachel are preaching in an empty building. We hope to return soon, but will it be the same as before?

The prophet Ezekiel spoke to the people of Israel who had been taken into exile in Babylon. They were far from home, cut off from everything that they knew. They were discovering how to worship God in a place where there was no Temple and no priests to lead them in the ways that were familiar.

Into that cloudy day came a word of hope from the Lord: I will gather you as a shepherd rescues his flock.

World leaders changed and, in time, many of the exiles returned home to Jerusalem. Others remained where they had settled. And for those that did return, life was not the same. They would rebuild a Temple, but it was not the same Temple.

We will gather together at Tyndale again, but it will not be the same Tyndale as before. Do we want to do some things differently? What are the things that we do not want to change? Are we prepared for God to ask us to change things that we do not want to change?

Ian Waddington