When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd … (Emphasis added.)

Mk 6:34

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When reading Bible verses today, I was struck by the phrase “sheep without a shepherd.”

This phrase seems to apply to what I see in American culture today.  It speaks to the image of people without a sound base, restless, hectic, often angry, and many grossly self-centered and many times demanding – surely not centered and secure, sound and strong. No, more frantic or lost, some shiftless and without purpose or direction.

This leads me to ask: Are there not great human costs imposed on us by godless mass culture – where communication dominates and is hard to escape without intent?  Does communication not bring us images of many lost sheep, a spiritual wilderness much less a serene pasture?

I think of just a few things.  The news carries pretty much everyday a story about some horrible homicide – perhaps even involving mutilation, or predatory attack.

If such things happen daily – is any one such incident news beyond the exact place where the crime was committed?  Probably not. Does such constant horror not eventually have a debilitating effect on millions of people who are, to be honest, strangers to the crime?  Of what use is this constant drumbeat?

Or take the weekly outrage of someone acting on racial hatred taking aim by gun or (today) by car with the intention to injure or kill a police officer (three were targeted by one driver today).

Or take the in-coming freshman coed at UCLA who sent her two assigned roommates an email dictating to them her orders as to which bed and desk she expected as her’s and making it plain to the roommates that she will stand for nothing less.  Is this not a product of a sick culture and an indication of the injurious use of “communication.”  Memo to demanding coed: email is not a bullhorn, and you aren’t anyone special.

One final iteration of a culture in need of a shepherd – think about driving in populated areas and even (sometimes) in less populated areas: all manner of angry people can be encountered in traffic ..

Have we in mass, godless, secular culture not demonstrated that we desperately need the company of a Shepherd?  Do we not know one?  Is He not available and willing to attend to us?  For my part I dabble far less in mass communication (especially news) and read Scripture and other insightful matters far more. 

The Gospels have application today – more than many may think.


Afterthought – It occurs to me, that the British exit from the European Union (EU) is evidence that centralized power has had its day – because it is elitist and dehumanizing. The EU now wants to have its own army.  Other nations will follow England out the door.  An Australia Senator has raised the question about his country exiting the U.N.

Mr. Trump is a reflection of the same broad public recognition that centralized power can (and often does) lose complete contact with, and understanding of, the common population, the average citizen.

Our system is a representative democracy where power resides in the people living state by state.  We are likely to be headed in that direction at long last.  This election will tell us more. Ms. Clinton wishes all power reside with her. I wonder what will happen.