I exhort the presbyters among you,
as a fellow presbyter and
witness to the sufferings of Christ
and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed.
Tend the flock of God in your midst,
overseeing not by constraint but willingly,
as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly.
Do not lord it over those assigned to you,
but be examples to the flock.
And when the chief Shepherd is revealed,
you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
-1 Peter 5:1-4
Beloved, tend to the flock of God.
I am loving this idea. The flock of God seems such a unique way of expressing the idea. The flock is other. Something outside ourselves. But the flock is God. Which makes the flock bigger than simply something outside ourselves. We are the flock. We need to tend each other and ourselves and God.
And Peter calling out to the Beloved. We are all beloved. This is core for me. At the center of every message is the idea that we are beloved children of God. Christine uses the term beloved to describe her husband. I always smile at this old fashioned word in her every day language. But what would change in my life if I called the ones I hold dear “’beloved.” And they knew it? I can imagine the first time I use the word, it will make my husband look at me twice! Hmm…I feel a day of beloved-ness coming on. Am I brave enough to call my hubby beloved all day? Maybe.
Tending to the flock reminds me inexplicably of my father-in-law who is a bee-keeper. He tends to his flock of bees. Calmly going in and out. Loving the puffy little honeybees and shepherding them into a place where they are busy, happy, and vocal! I would also like to point out that the beekeeper couldn’t do his job unless the gardener did her job!