I’m a pastor. I shepherd God’s flock. I lead them. I care for them. I keep them healthy by sometimes correcting and other times by steering them into “greener pastures.” If we all lived in the days of Moses and Aaron, I would represent the people before God and visa versa. I guess in today’s world it’s still a little like that.
I’m called to feed the sheep.
Feeding God’s sheep means that I have to possess the food in the first place. This means I need to spend the time devouring God’s Word. I need to allow it to be digested, making me strong and healthy. Then, and only then am I able to feed those in my care. Feeding the sheep also means that I need to be sure that they are getting a balanced meal. It means that it’s my job to be sure that they’re eating their brussels sprouts along with their sweet potatoes. There are certain things that God wants us to know that are easier to swallow than others. My job is to make sure that we eat everything on the plate.
I’m called to make sure the sheep are healthy.
As a pastor, I stand before God to how obedient the sheep are living. The reality is, it’s very possible to over feed the sheep. It’s really not healthy to allow the sheep to stay in the pen. They just get fat and lazy. It’s my job to do whatever I can to get the sheep moving. Get them out of the pen to burning off some of the food they’ve been gorging on before they get too lazy and begin to expect more than they need.
I’m called to care for the sheep.
Caring for them is different than just doing a job. It involves personal attachment to the sheep. It’s what drives the shepherd to go the extra mile for the one that has wondered off. It’s what drives the shepherd to give up time and sleep to care for the sick. It’s not out of duty of “obligation”… it’s out of love for God’s sheep. It’s choosing to see them for the beautiful creatures that God sees them to be.
Sometimes, I’m called to be willing to break a leg.
I have to be honest, I love this! I have never heard ANYONE preach on this one! Often times, when a sheep would constantly wonder off, the shepherd would have to take some drastic measures for the sheep’s on good. He breaks one of its legs. Yep! The shepherd would break one of the sheep’s legs and then pick the lamb up, dress its wounds and then carry the lamb close to himself until the leg healed. In the process of healing, the lamb would also build an attachment to the shepherd. This attachment would create a bond that couldn’t be broken. As a shepherd I have to be ready to make the hard decisions. Sometimes, it’s tough when you know it’s going to hurt in the short term, but I have to be ready to commit to the sheep for the long haul.
I’m not going to address all things that a shepherd shouldn’t do yet. I think I’ll save that for another conversation since it’s a whole conversation in itself. But for now, I just want to be sure that I’m a good shepherd of the sheep God’s given me.