What does it mean to be a shepherd?

As you may know, we keep sheep at Makanalani. Being close to the earth & all the wonders that God has provided through nature is very precious to us.

So what exactly does it mean to be a shepherd? It is, of course, caring for the physical needs of the sheep. Making sure they have adequate food & fresh water, moving them from place to place, assuring that they are safe from harm & bedded down comfortably for the night. But beyond that, it means making sure that they do not overgraze, that they do not foul the water sources, in short, being a shepherd is not caring just for the sheep, but also for their environment, so that both the sheep & all the other plants & animals may thrive.

This is what Our Lord does for us every day. Not only supplying our needs, but also providing us, all of us, with a home on this beautiful planet that functions in perfect harmony. When we contemplate all of the myriad of animals, plants, niches & environments in this world we must truly be humbled at the glory of creation & know ourselves to be the most fortunate of sheep tended by the most loving of shepherds.

Why are we thinking about sheep? Well, of course, the sheep & their shepherd is a common metaphor in Christianity, but more specifically we were reading Genesis today & came across this verse. It is a moving passage, where Joseph takes his sones to see the aging & ill Israel & Israel gives them a blessing, the blessing of the great shepherd & a promise for all of his flock.

We hope that you enjoy this passage from Genesis 48 & that throughout all of your days may you remember that you are blessed & never alone.

“May the God before whom my fathers
Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully,
the God who has been my shepherd
all my life to this day,
the Angel who has delivered me from all harm
—may he bless these boys.
May they be called by my name
and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac,
and may they increase greatly
on the earth.”

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