Bless Our Hearts!

It was good to be back at home and engaged in my normal morning routine today.  It has been since June 4th that I’ve had a regular Monday morning.  I woke up, started my coffee, took a shower, got dressed, and sat down to read the Lectionary texts for Sunday and tweets and Facebook updates from the night before.  It is part voyeuristic, part prayer list that I engage in such an activity every morning.  There is always something to laugh at.  There is always something to pray about.  I find it to be fruitful to keep in touch with folks in this way.

Anyway, this isn’t a post about the merits of pastoral care on social media, instead, I wanted to share a post that I found this morning.  Rocky, a parishioner here at St. Paul’s, lives on a working farm with her husband and four children.  They both have other jobs, so the farm isn’t huge, but it is never dull in the Moore household.  This morning, Rocky had updated her status to say,

“Woke up to a sheep-in-distress call around 5:45. The poor thing was bleating its head off. It was “lost” because it squeezed through a rail fence then couldn’t find its way back to the pasture. Sheep really are stupid, bless their hearts.”

This was one of those rare “laugh and pray” moments.  It was particularly poignant as the lessons for this Sunday are all about stupid sheep and the various shepherds that would lead them.  The lesson from Jeremiah is all about the evil shepherds that lead the people of Israel to destruction.  The Psalm is the classic #23, “The Lord is my Shepherd.”  The lesson from Mark is of Jesus’ compassion as he looked over the crowd of sheep without a shepherd.

There are many who would vie to be our shepherds.  Oh, let’s be clear, we are very much sheep, bless our hearts, and very much in search of someone who would lead us.  Some would lead us to fear.  Others would lead us to anger.  Still others would lead us to dangerous cliffs.  But Jesus desires to lead us to good pastures and still water.  As I look back on General Convention that was and prepare for life anew in Saint Paul’s Foley, I’m keenly aware of the various shepherds that would love for us to listen and follow.

Me?  I’m going to follow Jesus, the Good Shepherd.  Bless my heart.

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