Ann Farabee: Feeding our flock?
It brought me to a complete standstill. I looked up. A flock of birds flew overhead. How do they do that? Every move was in complete sync. I immediately gave credit to the prowess of their leader.
But… guess what? I found out that the birds actually take turns being the leader, and being the leader has no obvious benefits.
When a flock of birds is flying together in the V-formation, they are able to take advantage of the aerodynamic effects of flying behind one another – getting strength and energy from the wings of the preceding bird. It is more important that a bird fly in the right place than that he fly at the right time. They are cooperative and work together.
When birds are part of a flock, it makes it easier to feed, to nest, and to escape predators.
1 Peter 5:2-3 says to feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind. Neither as lords over God’s heritage, but as an example to our flock.
These verses are used to describe leaders of the church, but cannot be overlooked by anyone that is leading someone somewhere somehow sometime. That is all of us!
It is those who walk through life with us, work with us, and worship with us.
How are we to feed our flock?
* Feed the flock of God which is among you. This means we are to have three meals a day ready at the appropriate time. (Just kidding. I wanted to see if you were paying attention.) To ‘feed the flock’ is not a command, but it is about encouraging and building up those we see and spend time with in our daily lives.
* Taking the oversight of. To ‘take oversight of’ means to lead. We lead by showing others the way to a destination as we go in front or beside of them while moving forward.
* Not by constraint but willingly. To feed the flock willingly means that you serve eagerly – not out of obligation.
* Not for filthy lucre. That means you don’t do it for money or in a dishonorable or dishonest way. You do it for the right reasons.
* But of a ready mind. That part speaks for itself. Have our minds ready!
*Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock. As leaders feeding our flock – those among us – we all need to be examples.
Even when doing good and important things for our flock – we sometimes fail to do it the way 1 Peter 5:2-3 instructs us to.
So even if our flock often feels more like a gaggle of geese, a herd of goats, or a covert of coots, we all need to flock around our flock – feeding them daily.
How about the benefits? That is in the next verse 1 Peter 5:4. It says that when the chief Shepherd shall appear, we shall receive a crown of glory that fades not away.
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