TODAY'S SCRIPTURE: Philippians 3:17
Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.
THE SHEPHERDS -- LEADING BY EXAMPLE
Stop and watch the people around you. They are teaching you how to cope with life. I have learned and am continuing to learn from each person -- young and old -- that I meet.
I have watched as you care for your loved one, who has suffered with physical and mental challenges. You have taken on new responsibilities with love and care and patience. I have watched as you face new limits of your own physical capabilities. You have shown me how to help others and that it is okay to ask for help.
I have watched as children have died, leaving an empty place in the family portrait and a hole in the heart of the parents which can never be filled. As parents, you did not turn your back on God and His Church, but turned to God to help you understand. I have seen you stand strong, even when you felt weak inside. Through you, I have learned to trust God and know He has prepared a place for all of His children.
I have watched as life-long partnerships have ended and one is left. I have seen strength come out of grief, as the day-to-day demands filled the empty hours. I have seen individuals begin a new life alone. I have seen new unions take place, creating new families. Your example shows me how to face our uncertain future.
If you have less of life’s experiences, do not feel left out. I am learning from you as well. I am watching your generation raise our future. I am seeing families who want Christ as an active part of their lives. I am learning new songs from our youth and young adults. Songs that express our beliefs to a new beat. At the same time, our youth are singing songs that are the building blocks of our faith. Songs that bring our history and ancestry into their lives.
Then all of this is tied together by the others who touch our church – The person who keeps our house of worship clean and makes it so we can walk in the door for class, for dinners, for prayer. The Sunday School teachers who so unselfishly prepare all of those lessons. Those involved in the music that makes our service peaceful, exciting, or reverent. Music can make us tap our toes, bring a tear to our eye, or touch our heart. The church secretary/treasurer who keeps our dates straight, our bills paid and who listens as we tell about our hopes, our dreams and our failures. The ministers who help us understand the word of God and how to make it apply to each second of our lives. You are there when we have doubts, when we have fears and when we have joys.
Yes, each of you is an example of how life should be lived. You are one of my shepherds.
QUESTIONS OF THE DAY
Yes, this is a longer than most of the day’s readings, but it raises a very big question. Where do you find the shepherds in your life? Are those you use as role models/examples leading you in the right direction?
LET US PRAY
Dear Shepherd, You are the supreme role model. You have lessons written for us to follow. We can read the Bible, but sometimes the Bible is hard to understand. Thank you for earthly examples of how we should live. Thank you for ………………………………… Amen