Shepherds and Shepherding

Passing goodness and mercy to others

By Pastor Wade Brinkopf

I just finished reading a book that was handed to me by one of our lead shepherds. It is entitled, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23. The author’s name is W. Phillip Kellner. In short, he was a shepherd in one of his previous lives. He told a story of shepherding as he felt it related to Psalm 23, David’s authorship of the Psalm, and David’s work as a shepherd centuries ago. It was a good read; not too dense or difficult. Our lead shepherds have copies if you’d like to read it. I want to share a quote with you this week from A Shepherd Looks.

“In looking back over my own life, in the light of my love and care for my sheep, I can see again and again a similar compassion and concern for me in my Master’s management of my affairs. There were events which at the time seemed like utter calamities; there were paths down which He led me that appeared like blind alleys; there were days He took me through which were well night black as night itself. But all in the end turned out for my benefit and my well-being.

“With my limited understanding as a finite human being I could not always comprehend His management executed in finite wisdom. With my natural tendencies to fear, worry, and ask “why,” it was not always simple to assume that He really did know what He was doing with me. There were times I was tempted to panic, to bolt, and to leave His care. Somehow, I had the strange, stupid notion I could survive better on my own. Most men and women do.

“But despite this perverse behavior I am so glad He did not give up. I am so grateful He did follow me in goodness and mercy. The only possible motivation was His own love, His care and concern for me as one of His sheep. And despite my doubts, despite my misgivings about His management of my affairs, He has picked me up and borne me back again in great tenderness.

“…There is a positive, practical aspect in which my life in turn should be one whereby goodness and mercy follow in my footsteps for the well-being of others.

“Just as God’s goodness and mercy flow to me all the days of my life, so goodness and mercy should follow me, should be left behind me as a legacy to others wherever I may go.” (Kellner 155-156, 157)

Did you know that we have a Shepherding Program here at Saint Peter? Did you know that we are striving to have this sort of legacy within our church; between neighbors, reaching out into community? Did you know that you can participate in our Shepherding Program? You can help! Come find out how! May our work for the Lord be strong!

Pr. Wade

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