Obey your leaders and follow their orders. They watch over your souls without resting, since they must give to God an account of their service. If you obey them, they will do their work gladly; if not, they will do it with sadness, and that would be of no help to you. (verse 17)
Read Hebrews 13:17 – 25
Jesus is the Good Shepherd. In the Christian church, those who become spiritual leaders are also often referred to as pastors or shepherds. We, the people of the church, are the sheep.
While shepherds may have endearing and admirable qualities, we do not often attribute sheep with such qualities. We see them as being stupid, somewhat gullible animals. But if we are going to have a good church we not only need good shepherds but also good sheep.
Perhaps one of the reasons we do not admire sheep is because they are good followers. They unquestioningly go where the shepherd leads them. In our society, which values freedom and choice, we do not easily follow any person in such a way. We question the ideas and integrity of anyone from the prime minister down.
If we are going to have a functioning church it helps if we follow and support our leaders. We can be thankful they have done the study and made the vows to be responsible for our spiritual development. It is good to trust and honour that. In fact, the more we give them our backing the better they will do their job, which, in the end, will benefit us.
Dear Lord, help me to be a good sheep in your flock, the church. May I be a great support to those you send to shepherd us. Amen.
by Richard Hauser, in ‘New Strength for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 1998)
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