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Who is Feeding the Sheep?

December 2, 2019

There is a very old church in London, a Cathedral, a fancy church where the Bishop hangs his mitre, a big stone House of God with flying buttresses and stained glass windows and ancient tombs.  One day, a hungry soul came to the door.  She was welcomed and fed.  Homeless, she was given refuge.  Alone, she was loved and accepted.  She is a cat.  Some may say “just a cat,”  but some will always just-ify their scorn for those who have or seem to be less than they.  However, if Doorkins Magnificat could find kindness and charity at the hands of God’s people, shouldn’t anyone?  This is the thought of the Dean, the Very Reverend Andrew Nunn. *

She has become the feline face of Southwark Cathedral, a symbol for many of our openness, our inclusiveness, our hospitality, and our humanity.

Yes, this is what it means to be the Church.  More than a building to host people in their Sunday best, more often only at Christmas and Easter, if then, the Church should be the family who take you in and love you no matter who you are or what you’ve done.  That is how Jesus met people, right there deep in their need.  He asked.  He listened.  He reached out to the very people society wouldn’t see:  the poor, the broken, the lost.  Every person who bears His name as a Christian is expected to feed His sheep.  It was one of His last recorded commands to us (John 21:17). 

Whatever you may see in the world, this is who Jesus is.  We, His followers, are a poor reflection at best.  But He said, Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. (Revelation 3:20)  He is still reaching out to us, in our poor, broken, lost world.  And we whom He has rescued from the darkness must be about His work, shining the light and feeding His sheep.  And His cats.

*In October of 2019, Doorkins Magnificat retired from her duties at the Cathedral and now resides with a staff member, in good health for her advanced age.  I should have written this last year, just after I found her sleeping above a radiator at the front of the sanctuary.  But then someone might have made the pilgrimage to see her, only to just miss her, which would have been a shame.  It was with great joy that I did find her there.

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