Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which He obtained with His own blood. Acts 20:28
I have a vivid memory of my father-in-law officiating a funeral for an elderly faithful Christian man. A new pastor had just arrived at the congregation. Not knowing the man well, the widow had asked the retired pastor to assist with the service. After the interment, the retired pastor went to the widow to offer words of comfort, the pastor leaning forward, the widow leaning forward, heads touching, and words being spoken. This precious moment in time spoke of the pastor being a true Shepherd to God’s people.
During this pandemic, the shepherds of God’s people have faced great challenges. Person-to-person contact has been limited or non-existent especially to those at greatest risk in care homes and hospitals. Pastors struggle as they seek to administer the commendation of the dying via a phone. Not being able to give that physical comfort of God’s love to the dying and family members leave the shepherd feeling empty and inadequate.
A faithful church member was moved to tears when he and his pastor after being vaccinated and hands sanitized finally were able to shake hands after a year of no physical contact. Tending to God’s people requires that human touch. These earthly shepherds, God’s representatives, have certainly risen to the challenge by making routine phone calls and reaching out with online church services.
People thronged to be near Jesus, even if it were only to touch His robe as the woman with the heavy flow of blood did. People yearned to hear His Word and be reminded that “your faith has made you well.”
Our pastors, faithful men of God, struggle daily as they seek God’s direction in ways to serve and comfort God’s people. They know the only way to give comfort is God’s Word, whether it is delivered physically or by the power of the spoken Word.
Pray and thank God for these faithful servants as they search to shepherd God’s people. Share with them your love for their dedication and service.
Annette Borchardt, VP Member Development