Cutting Room Floor


Ezekiel 37:14


17As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord God: I shall judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and goats: 18Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, but you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture? When you drink of clear water, must you foul the rest with your feet? 19And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have fouled with your feet?

-Ezekiel 34:17-19

In Bible Study this morning, we talked about the lectionary (prescribed set of readings we use in church) and how they are sometimes very well-crafted for a particular theme.  This means that verses get omitted if they stray from the topic.  Editing is wise; but sometimes, it’s fruitful to glance at what was left on the cutting room floor.

Sunday (11-23-08), you will hear a passage from Ezekiel 34.  It’s a promise of deliverance for the exiles, using the metaphor of shepherding and sheep.  Take a look at verses 11-16 and 20-24…which is what you will hear read from the lectern.  Then, glance over the omitted verses, 17-19.  Notice the language changes (from pronouns like “I” and “them” to “I” and “you’).  This is a direct address–a direct indictment–about individual responsibility for the good of the community.  As God speaks to Ezekiel, God basically says, it not enough to have grass to graze and water to drink–must you spoil it for those after you?  Now, as ever, this is an important word.

Finally, the photograph above is the Yad Vashem–the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem.  Over the mantle of the exit, the prophet Ezekiel gives an inspiring word.  It may be hard to view on your screen; if so, look up the passage. 


Dearest Jesus, keep our feet in your pasture, and out of each other’s way.  As one flock, under one shepherd, we pray.  Amen.

One Response

  1. Ezekiel 37:14 on the Holocaust Museum exit mantle reflects an abiding (last word) faith in what geographic Israel will be for Israelites. I wonder when. Today’s secular culture in Israel often seems like more trampling going on.

    What does it say on the entrance mantle?

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: