Over the past month, we’ve been considering the Bible’s use of shepherd language in making a unique contribution to understanding the role of a leader. The final category that the Bible emphasizes is the seeking heart of a caring shepherd. While negligent shepherds will scatter the flock or be content to make a living from the gathered flock, a good shepherd will risk comfort and safety to seek lost sheep. While the primary applications may be related to church ministry, the implications for relating to disgruntled customers, disillusioned constituents, and prodigal children may be just as relevant.
On Sunday, Jennifer and I celebrated our twenty-third wedding anniversary. In addition to a celebration dinner out together we took time in the afternoon to do a marriage enrichment survey and talk through the report that we were sent. A number of lessons stood out to me.
This week someone from the congregation wrote the following: "Diving deeper into the sermon, I think what you said really stuck with me. I feel like in a nutshell that's my Christian life. You know I try to do what I'm supposed to do. Read my Bible, pray, go to church, help the poor, all the physical aspects. But as you said there is still something missing, a refresh. Sadly, I can't even say I have a desire or a thirst. I just do it because I love God and know everything he says and orders us to do is out of his love and perfection. Its like brushing my teeth, I don't have a desire to do it. But I know that it's Good for me, and my dentist has the best interest for my teeth." I wonder whether many of you identify with these words. I did. Let me share with you some of what I wrote in case it’s a help to you when you find yourself going through the motions in your relationship with God.