by Nick and Brian Schwarz
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Tend the flock of God that is your charge (1 Peter 5:2b).
Caring for other Christians can be frustrating and tiring. Just as some sheep disregard the voice of shepherds and wander off into danger, so some Christians ignore the guidance of their pastors and leaders.
What keeps you going when this happens? Only the compassion and care of Christ. For all of us, he laid aside his glory. For all of us, he gave up his life on the cross. His compassion and care is the fountain from which you can drink deeply to receive refreshment and new strength to continue caring for difficult and wayward Christians.
Caring for other Christians is not always rewarding. While many Christians express appreciation and gratitude for pastoral care, some are ungrateful and constantly critical. Here St Peter assures you that Jesus, the Good Shepherd, recognises the care you give to his flock and will reward you with an unfading crown of glory when he appears.
Dear Lord, help us never to tire of praying for the spiritual wellbeing of fellow Christians. Give us insight into the readiness of those who have wandered away to hear your call to them again. Amen.