Support the Café

Search our Site

PB: The cosmic act of salvation is about all creation

PB: The cosmic act of salvation is about all creation

Preaching on the eve of Earth Day on the readings about Christ the shepherd, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori focused her sermon at Washington National Cathedral on “holy shepherding.”

That great dream of Revelation is an image of the flock of humanity gathered around their shepherd. Their wool is clean and white, not just because they’ve had a dip in the creek to wash the dirt off, but because all the burrs and thorns and parasites have been picked out. It’s immensely troublesome work to get a sheep looking like that – it’s not just a matter of a bath. And this isn’t just a single animal, like a country fair champion. An entire flock of sheep has been individually groomed until they reflect the sun like the top of a cloudbank. This great good shepherd cares for each part of creation as precious – beloved, even. These sheep are gathered, confident that one of their number will keep them in good grazing, and clean water, and away from the wolves. The lamb has become shepherd of all by shifting his concern from self to the whole. It is a cosmic image of the ancient challenge to care for the whole community rather than only one’s individual being.

That’s the kind of shepherding we’re in for – recognizing the preciousness of the whole flock of creation. Not just the human ones, or the mammals, or the local pasture, but the vast web of interconnected matter we call creation. Every family, language, tribe, and nation of insect, woodland, coral reef, water vapor, and the rock below. Why do you suppose those sheep are waving palm branches? This cosmic act of salvation is about all creation, not simply a few human beings.


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café