Shepherds of the Lord’s flock are marked by their humility, prompting Peter to plead that each of us clothe ourselves with humility toward one another. Strangely, shepherds of the Lord’s flock are at the same time themselves sheep: as we are led by the Good Shepherd, from that leading we humbly lead others. Where are we to lead the Lord’s flock? How are we to shepherd the flock of God among us? Among other things, to share the grace we have been given as sinners and sufferers to others. Always and in a significant way, the church as the flock of God exists for sheep who are not yet a part of it. Why? That question is answered with a question. How could we not? In gratitude for that which we’ve been given, we give of that which is not our possession anyway. As someone once said: he is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.
Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly. (I Peter 5:2)
Gracious Lord, we beseech thee: give ear to our prayers, and by thy grace, open the eyes of our hearts, that we may know the hope to which we are called, and the riches of the glorious inheritance of your saints, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.