The Humble Shepherd
You can often spot sheep on the hills around Tiverton, but have you ever seen a shepherd at work? Here's our Vicar Andy with our latest blog post, following a trip to Wales.
A few weeks ago, I spent a week in mid-Wales. We were in a rural valley, at least 30minutes from any town and the nearest shop felt like someone's front room!
One of the things we enjoyed was walking from the door step, quickly up onto open hills, moorland and sheep. Lots of sheep!
I was reminded as I walked in the mist (or was it rain) of one of my favourite psalms...
Psalm 23 starts with the words, 'The Lord is my shepherd...' This psalm of course has many messages within it and as I observed the sheep on this Welsh hillside, I wondered who cared for them? Who fed them?
Writers John and Laura Keeley said 'The people of Israel understood the life of a shepherd. Sheep provided them with wool for clothes and meat to eat. Making the connection between God and a shepherd was easy for them because they knew what shepherds were like.'
I don't really know what shepherds are like! I know a couple of people who care for sheep, and I have seen Clarkson's farm, yet learning more about shepherds helps us understand what David meant when he wrote 'The Lord is my shepherd...'
The shepherd of old doesn't just watch sheep, they care for their sheep. They take them to where food and water are, and they shelter their flock from storms. As sheep do not have claws or teeth to protect themselves, the shepherd protects them from other animals that want to eat them. Because the shepherd is there, the sheep are protected, comforted, and fed. Without a shepherd, the sheep would not last long in the wilderness. That's a pretty good picture of how God cares for us, isn't it?
Have a great week
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