Freshly translated with our seminary’s graduating class in mind, and read at graduation.  Perhaps it will help you hear something fresh in this fabulous passage (and perhaps not — I enjoyed the exercise myself).

“I exhort the elders among you, then, — I, a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings and a partner in the glory that is about to be revealed: tend the flock of God in your midst, not as people forced to do so begrudgingly, but willingly, in alignment with God; not with a view to what you can get out of it for yourself, but with a view to how you can offer help freely; not in a domineering and authoritarian manner, but in a manner that gives an example for the flock to imitate. And when the chief shepherd appears, you will receive the wreath of glory that never withers.

“In the same spirit, you younger ones, submit yourselves to the elders. And all of you — clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God ranges himself against the arrogant, but gives favor to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, beneath God’s powerful hand, in order that he might exalt you in the proper time. Do this, casting all your anxiety upon him, because he is concerned about you.

“Stay sharp. Be on the watch. Your adversary the devil stalks about like a roaring lion, seeking to swallow someone up. Resist him, immovable in your faithfulness, knowing that the global community of your brothers and sisters endures the same kinds of sufferings to the end.

“Now may the God of all favor himself, who calls you into his eternal glory in Christ Jesus after you have suffered for a little while, equip you, make you take root, strengthen you, and lay deep foundations for you. To him belongs the power forever. Amen.”

 

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