Today’s Readings: click here – Psalm 100; Ezekiel 34:17-23; 1 Peter 5:5 (to open the scripture links – hover over, right click, open hyperlink)
Through Old Testament and New Testament, there are many scriptures like Ezekiel 34:17-23 and 1 Peter 5:1-5 underlining ‘Tending the Flock of God’. Most instances we are the sheep of the flock and cared for by the great Shepherd our Lord. In this passage of Ezekiel it is highlighting the righteous, the leaders of our nations, to tend to their sheep and how that should be done. Everyone, at some point, or time in their life will themselves be THE SHEPHERD, and prayerfully on the path of righteousness to the Glory of God.
Who do you shepherd? A nation? Persons in the office? People of a congregation? A Sports team? A classroom? A family? The list can go on and on, and at some juncture in life, we experience ‘Shepherding a Flock’, and it will bring challenges and uncertain pathways, but if we seek God’s reverence it becomes shepherding a flock of God’s kingdom.
The Ezekiel passage instructs us how we are to treat those we shepherd. Reminding us that we are not above or more than another. I think about myself and how I shepherd my family. Caring for them means that I care from my heart. I know them inside and out. I put them before myself, provide for them in specific ways that they need, not lacking in love, care and compassion. Caring and loving them as my Father in Heaven loves and cares for me and how He has given me His Son to watch and guide me to do His will for His kingdom.
One of my favorite images of scripture is that of Jesus shepherding me, His flock, loving and caring for me. Keeping my mind set on Him, he guides, leads and protects me. I desire to serve others as a reflection of Jesus’ care for those who whose hope is in the Lord.
These passages of caring for God’s flock are what our hearts hold tight to when times are tough and we have days when we may feel abandoned, struck down, even unloved. These feelings can take root in our hearts and blind us from God’s unconditional love and obscure our vision to love and server others well. It is in times like this that we need to be reading and hearing God’s word, that He, our Great Shepherd, will rescue us and pull us back into his arms so we may go forth and shepherd our people with full loving force.
In these current dark and uncertain days of isolation and quarantine, we have had to adjust how we shepherd those we love and care for, but Jesus is our same shepherd today as he was yesterday and will be tomorrow. Our hope is in Him who gives us the strength and consciousness to love, serve and care for others, even 6-feet apart.
Be well and hold fast to the words of our Great Shepherd. By the power of His word and spirit, He makes Himself known to us. He feeds us. He guides and guards us. He heals and restores us. The Great Shepherd (Isaiah 50:11) .
Here’s a beautiful song for reflection and meditation ‘The Great Shepherd’ by Psalmist Raine.
Here’s a vibrant song with a powerful message ‘Beautiful Stranger’ by Rebecca St. James .
Prayer: Lord, I know full well that your great shepherding covers me. Help me to shepherd well, those in my care. Open my eyes to those in need and make known to me the path in which leads me to be a gallant shepherd for your kingdom and your glory always. AMEN!