Psalm 23:2 He makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters.

In his youth, David was a nomadic shepherd like we have on the range in the American West. There is a strong pattern for the shepherd’s life. The ewes are grazed on the desert browse or crop residue in the winter, moving every week to a new bedding ground. In the spring, they are shorn and give birth near sheds or in meadows. In summer, the flock is trailed from grazing area to grazing area; finally grazing upon the highest mountains. The shepherd stays with them, usually in a small trailer or wagon, and makes the sheep go on the right path, with the help of one or two sheepdogs. The shepherd has a rifle to protect the sheep and, in the last several decades, the assistance of guard dogs.

Lying down in green pastures is a rewarding but risky business. It means regularly leaving the familiar behind and being vulnerable to risks and enemies. It also means trusting the Shepherd and following the commands.

MOVING FORWARD: How has learning more about sheep farming changed your understanding of the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd?

PRAY for the Diocese of Lomega (South Sudan)

Ps 75, 76 * 23, 27 | Leviticus 23:23-44 | 2 Thessalonians 3:1-18 | Matthew 7:13-21