SHEPHERD OR BUTCHER

Two people were watching a man drive a herd of sheep through the main street of a small town.

“I thought shepherds led sheep. I didn’t know they drove them with a whip.”

“They do,” the other fellow remarked. “That’s not a shepherd. That’s the town’s butcher.”

Source: Robert R. Cueni, The Vital Church Leader
Abingdon press, 1991

CONSIDER THIS

God, my shepherd!
I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.

Psalm 23:1-3 (The Message)

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KNOWING THE SHEPHERD

A group of business professionals was gathered for their monthly luncheon. As was their custom once each year, they invited their pastors to join them. After the meal they had scheduled a famous actor to provide some entertainment as people were enjoying coffee and dessert. The actor stood before them dramatically reciting lines from famous plays and poetry. At one point he invited requests from those in attendance. One elderly priest rose and spoke. “Would you recite for us Psalm 23?” The actor, a bit surprised by the unusual request, finally agreed. “Father,” he said,”I’ll agree to your request under one condition. After I recite the psalm, I’d be honored if you would then recite it too.” Reluctantly, the elderly priest agreed.

So the actor presented a stunningly beautiful recitation of Psalm 23, to which people responded with enthusiastic applause. Then he turned to the priest and said, “Okay, Father, your turn.” So the priest rather hesitantly stood and began reciting the famous psalm. “The Lord is my shepherd. There is nothing I shall want.”

When he finished, there was no applause, just hushed silence. The people, so moved by his simple recitation, were sitting with tears running down their faces. After a few moments the actor rose and spoke. “Ladies and gentlemen, I spoke to your ears. But this man has spoken to your hearts. And here’s the difference. I know Psalm 23. But this man knows the Shepherd.”

Source | Dan ShutteWalking the Sacred Path: Spiritual Exercises for Today
(Twenty-Third Publications, 2009)

CONSIDER THIS

Sometimes we mistakenly think that our faith is about understanding the truths of our faith, or professing a particular creed of beliefs, or learning the Holy Scriptures. But these things are only secondary. Our faith, at its core, is about our relationship with God, and with Jesus, the one who showed us the face of God.