“And no one will ever steal them from me.”
It has been a week of ‘stealing’, locally nationally and internationally, highlighted by the continual anguish of the 250 girls in Nigeria, the saga in Lebanon and the tragedy in outer Melbourne.
Belonging is something fundamental to the desires of the human being, yet mysterious in its delivery and acceptance.
Just who are we to belong to our footy club, our book club, our family, our spouse, our Church community or our God? These are not new questions. Obviously they were on the agenda in Jesus’ time. The whole search and desire for the Messiah seems to have a foundation in their desire to be, let alone belong to, God’ people…yet when the chips were down they could not believe or accept the invitation: “I give them eternal life.”
What more could we want? But we, too, find the invitation challenging.
The Oceania Team has been grappling with these questions this weekend, and is not finished with the task at time of writing. But the great successes of the Teams, in no small way, is the creation of a positive community based upon the fullness of a regular Teams meal.
In a way, Teams become the Good Shepherd incarnate in our meetings. If that be so, then let us take comfort in the other Gospel words spoken this day: “The Father who gave them to me is greater than anyone, and no one can steal from the Father.”