Shepherding, Policing, and Transforming Everything

Universal Love is calling us to be shepherds to one another, to care for each other, to protect each other.


“I am the Good Shepherd… And I lay down my life for the sheep.”

Jesus the Good Shepherd serves, protects, and lays down his life for the sheep. At its best, policing is meant to serve and protect. Yet sheep are often not safe in the hands of most shepherds (who would look after them but also lead them to be sacrificed) and policing does not always make people more safe. 

As Derek Chauvin is convicted for the murder of George Floyd, we recognize that so much more must be done to bring about healing, restoration, and justice. The deaths of Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo and Ma’Khia Bryant at the hands of police are the most recent of millions of reminders that so much more work needs to be done. Not only must our police and criminal justice systems be drastically reformed, but we must see ourselves as bound together, shepherds to each other who recognize our mission to care for and serve one another. 

That means doing our part to dismantle racism and transform systems of poverty and violence. It means making sure what happened to George Floyd and so many others never happens again not only because police are held accountable, but because we, as Christ’s hands and feet on earth, create a world of such deep compassion that that kind of cruelty and indifference are unthinkable.

Jesus is the Good Shepherd who calls everyone from everywhere. Not everyone recognizes the Shepherd to be this marginalized Jew who lived 2000 years ago. But the voice of Love embodied in vulnerable people everywhere, the voice of Love speaks in the language of compassion — suffering with others to alleviate the suffering of others — that voice calls to all of us. Universal Love is calling us to be shepherds to one another, to care for each other, to protect each other.

And we protect each other from the forces within and around that tempt us to fear, greed, and dehumanization. The “wolves” are not flesh and blood, but the powers and principalities that have created a world of deception, where our perception is scarcity and the need for lethal force. The reality is that we are unconditionally Loved, and when we live into that Love, we will become all that we are meant to be. 

Our Good Shepherd is leading us out of the world of fear and hatred and racism into greener pastures of love and abundance, into the Beloved Community where all are welcome. Let us follow and shepherd one another along the way.

The Olive

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