This came in my inbox from The Timberdoodle Company…they are a homeschool curriculum catalog for anyone who may not know…I thought it quite goo and thought I’d share…and check out they have lots of cool stuff…even if you don’t homeschool!

Dear Friends,

Many months ago in our Sunday school class, a question arose: What are the duties of a shepherd? Most of the adults quickly flipped to favorite passages concerning shepherds; a slapdash discussion ensued both as to why the shepherd does what he does, as well as to the application of each of the shepherd’s duties in our lives today.

Both because we have previously owned sheep and because the discussion seemed to be heading down a somewhat predictable path, my mind ambled merrily away on its own. But instead of wandering toward thoughts of lunch and my Sunday afternoon novel, that day my mind stayed somewhat on topic as I considered what the ultimate duty of a shepherd is. Why does he work so hard to feed, water, shelter, and protect? In many cases, his goal is not merely to keep the sheep safe and contented; it is to prepare them to die.

We do our church and families a disservice when we end the discussion of a shepherd’s duties at his kindly provisions, with no mention of this additional objective. Much of what the shepherd does is in the end focused on a sheep being fully prepared to die. How much richer will our experience be, in those moments that we feel called by God to shepherd another, if we see beyond the temporal need for protection or nourishment and seize each occasion as an opportunity to prepare that child or adult for death, for eternity. If each moment of every day were considered in terms of how it is preparing us for eternity, instead of what fleeting pleasure it will allow us, would we use our time differently?

Jesus is not only our Good Shepherd; He was also the sacrificial Lamb. He knew, like we will never know, how to live in such a way that when death came He was wholly ready. This week, as we prepare to celebrate the wonder of what He did for us, we also look forward to the day when we will be united with the One who has lovingly shepherded us to the end.

He is risen indeed!

– All of us at Timberdoodle Co
1510 E Spencer Lake Rd
Shelton, WA 98584