Labor of Love

A few years back I went to visit a favorite high school teacher.  He had moved to a different district, in a new area, much closer to where I live now.  To supplement his teaching income, he had bought a small farm and is in the business of raising livestock.  As he told me the story of why he chose sheep over other animals, he talked quite a bit about the precarious health of sheep, the travails they have at lambing time, their diet and general quirks.  Needy animals!  Then he said something I’ll always remember as he looked over his rolling pasture speckled with lambs grazing in the distance:  “Raising sheep is not for every farmer.  But it suits me.”

The Gospel Reading for this “Good Shepherd Sunday” is the beginning of Jesus’ long conversation about sheep.  To raise any livestock is quite a responsiblity.  To choose sheep as one’s lifework, however, seems to be a particular labor of love. 

God, you are gate, protecting us.  And you are shepherd, tending us.  This is abundant life.  Amen.

One Response

  1. Look at those cute faces, who can resist wanting to be a shepherd? Well maybe my dad, he said he chose not to raise sheep because they were always so needy. Sounds too much like the whole human race – needy.

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