Tending the Sheep
—1 Samuel 16:11-13
God calls us to “tend the sheep.” This is no easy task, for the shepherd must be attentive at all times for sheep tend to wander and stray from the rest of the flock. Sometimes this is by accident, and at other times it is because a wild animal has attacked one of the flock and sent the others running. The shepherd has the responsibility of keeping the sheep safe and finding any sheep that are lost so he or she can bring them back to be with the rest of the flock.
During this Lenten season, let us reflect on our responsibility as United Methodist Women. We have been called by God to tend his sheep.
Todd is 12. He is a problem for his grandmother and his grandfather. He is belligerent, defiant and disrespectful. Many other adjectives fit him. What happened to this child? How has this child become so confused? Why does this child hate the world? He is surrounded by a loving family, a loving church family and school officials who have tried to help in all possible ways. Every suggestion has been tried. He is under the care of a psychiatrist, on medication to help his behavior, but nothing seems to work. The grandparents are exhausted; they have tried everything.
I suggested they get in touch with one of the United Methodist Women’s agencies here in our area. We, as an organization, have helped so many like Todd, disturbed children who are provided a safe place to live and appropriate treatment given through love, a wraparound service that allows disturbed children to live at home while getting the services they need.
Single mothers take classes sponsored by United Methodist Women agencies to help them find a job so they can support themselves and their children. Women are built up, not torn down. They are given opportunities that help put them back on a firm ground.
United Methodist Women members are called to stand for the oppressed and the depossessed, to feed the poor, help the immigrant and help keep government agencies accountable.
When someone calls your name, is it not an honor for someone to say, “She is tending the sheep.” Doing service for others in God’s name is what it’s all about. When I am at the end of my life, my prayer is that I will have used up all the talent God gave to me.
Gracious God, help us use all of the talent you’ve given us so that we can best feed your sheep. Amen.