The Way

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Summary

One of the Bible’s major objectives is to humble us so that we realize that we are under the care of God; we’re dependent on him for everything, including life. In other words, we can’t “save” ourselves. In order to get this point across, scripture constantly gives us a sharp critique of humanity and our institutions, including the concept of kings and cities. These concepts are critiqued because inherently embedded in them is the idea that humanity can rule and protect itself apart from God. This is the “sin” or “problem” of humanity. So, what’s the solution … find out in today’s episode of The Way.

Show Notes

Bottom line: The solution to our ego and pride, which tells us that we can “do it” on our own, is to learn to humble ourselves and become like a shepherd depending fully on God.

The Takeaways
  1. One of the Bible’s major objectives is to humble us so that we realize that we are under the care of God; we’re dependent on him for everything, including life. In other words, we can’t “save” ourselves. 
  2. In order to get this point across, scripture constantly gives us a sharp critique of humanity and our institutions, including the concept of kings and cities. These concepts are critiqued because inherently embedded in them is the idea that humanity can rule and protect itself apart from God. This is the “sin” or “problem” of humanity. (So, what’s the solution … find out in today’s episode of The Way)
  3. The Bible’s alternative is what Fr. Paul Tarazi calls, “shepherdism.” A shepherd, looking after his flock in the field, is out in the elements and, therefore, completely dependent on God for everything.
  4. Some of the “greats” of the Old Testament were shepherds: Abel, Moses, and David (before he was a king). The prophets predict that when God returns to rescue his people from their exile, a new shepherd will rise to look after God’s “flock.” And, indeed, Jesus is considered the “Good Shepherd.” 
Summing Up

So, how does this help us to understand the Bible? 

Well, as we read through the various stories, we are now able to recognize if scripture is being critical of human activity. If the answer is, yes, then we know that it’s trying to break our ego so that we can fully depend on God.

 We can ask ourselves when we see this: what characteristic aspect of pride or ego is being displayed? How is scripture showing us the downfall of such intentions? What’s the proper response or how can we turn to God instead? 
 
 We can also recognize “shepherding” images in scripture. These images show us how God cares for us through his instruction and how we can learn to trust God and walk the Way.

As we read through the story, the questions become: how do the characters submit to God? What’s the result or outcome? If the character is a shepherd, how are they listening to God’s command? What actions do they take? Or what instruction do they act on? What sort of leadership qualities are being displayed by being a shepherd instead of a king? 

I think you’ll find that Shepherdism appears all over scripture and, if you pay close attention, it’ll show you how to walk The Way.
 
Photo: Hermes Kriophoros (photograph by Wikipedia, distributed under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license).

What is The Way?

Fr. Dustin Lyon explores scripture to rediscover Christianity so that we can walk in the Way of the Lord.