"Care for the flock God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly--not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God." 1 Peter 5:2
As Christians we all have flocks God has entrusted to us. Your flock might be the people you work with, the class you teach, your neighbours, a writing group you lead, a catechism class, people you serve in your business. The list is endless, but sometimes we miss the obvious. What about our spouses and our families?
Today was my 89-year-old aunt’s funeral. Ruth was her name. She was a lovely lady, a faithful Christian, who had a flock of nieces, nephews, siblings, and friends of all ages. She taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, but she and her husband Gordon had no children of their own.
Three of us nieces were asked to prepare tributes to Ruth for the funeral service. Speaking on behalf of my sisters, I shared what Ruth meant to us.
After lunch, the mic was open. Other family and friends shared stories of how Ruth had looked after them. She watched over her flock willingly, not grudgingly—not for what she would get out of doing so, but because she was eager to serve God.
Another interesting observation was made repeatedly and that was how well Ruth and Gordon looked after and served one another. They didn’t take each other for granted. For me, one of the take-aways from the celebration of Ruth’s life was the reminder to care for my flock. Our adult children and their spouses, the grandkids, and last but not least my husband Hank are a good part of my flock. That is not to say this is my entire flock, but they are a core part that, I believe, God would not want me to neglect.
Marriage is a sacrament or blessing, but commitment is required. If I get too busy with other things, I may not be looking after my flock as well as I should be. I believe Ruth and Gordon lived a testament to God in showing their love for one another and caring for each other. They also looked after the flock God had presented to them.