Jehovah Rohi. The Lord as Shepherd.
I checked the news today. It appears that curfews are working to distinguish between protestors (99% of the people involved) and rioters in most places. When protesters go home, police are able to focus on the people who want to incite violence. The rioters are attacking police, 99% of whom just want to protect and serve their communities. I suspect there may be an uptick on June 9 for Mr. Floyd’s funeral, but I think much of the violence is subsiding.
The question becomes, what next? As a people, where do we begin to experience God’s healing? More than ever, we need a shepherd.
Shepherding is a hard and humble occupation. Sheep are notoriously dumb, so the good shepherds are always on the alert for danger: predators, poisonous plants, uneven footing, etc. If one runs off, others follow. A good shepherd knows where the sheep are and whether any have gone missing. They are outside in all kinds of weather and often the only humans in the middle of a flock of sheep or goats. It is smelly, dirty, and usually boring. If the animals are happily grazing, there’s not much to do.
However, without a shepherd the sheep are prone to wander in circles, missing the good food, the solid ground, and vulnerable to predators.
What we need after the last weeks more than anything is a shepherd who will direct, protect, and lead us toward reconciliation and love. The Good Shepherd is Jesus. As believers we need to look to Him for how best to love each other and rebuild our communities together. Jesus is never tired of shepherding us – a good thing since we keep trying to make our own ways, away from the flock. We must be reliant on His Word and His will in order for Him to accomplish His work in and through us.
Let our prayer be, “Father, help me to acquiesce to Your shepherding. Rescue me when I wander toward worldly solutions to the issues the swirl around me. Keep me on the solid ground, keep me nourished on Your Word, and keep my ears attuned to your voice. Amen.”