Call to Be a Shepherd
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” (Exodus 3:1-4)
When you read the Bible you see many people experienced God personally. Some met God face to face, others in a vision or dream. You see also that there is always a reason or purpose for each of these experiences. Moses was not an exception. He met God at a mountainside where there was a burning bush. This experience changed his life 180% from a shepherd of sheep to a shepherd of God’s people, the Israelites in their most difficult time. The decision in his experience was not easy. Moses reluctantly accepted the call, a job and a mission that only with God’s help, could they prevail.
For 40 years Moses grew up in the palace and lived as a prince. The next 40 years of his life was in the desert as a shepherd to his father-in-law. His last 40 years were spent with his own people shepherding the flock of God. Interestingly, these last 40 years were most troublesome, but also the most fulfilling in his life. As pastors or leaders, clergy or lay, in the church, we often face constant challenges, many times with discouragement or disappointment. However, whatever we may face, let us remember that each of us is called for a mission to be a shepherd of God’s people or to be a witness of Jesus Christ in the world, and that mission is never meant to be easy. As God was with Moses, God is with us through times of trouble and times of peace and vibrancy. We will prevail with God’s help.
Oh God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, we pray for your guidance and strength as your shepherds and witnesses of Jesus Christ in difficult time. Help us not to be dismayed or discouraged in our disappointments or delighted in our fulfillments, in time of peace or in time of uncertainty. Amen.