“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the Shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming he abandons the sheep and runs away” (John 10: 11 & 12)
Congratulations and welcome to the month of September 2018.
All work is empty unless it is done with love. If you cannot work with love and joy, but only with distaste, then it is better you don’t do it at all.
Sadly, majority of people today – politicians, those in positions of authority and leadership in Industries, Government, Religion and others – do their work with disdain and dislike.
Beloved, if you bake bread with indifference, then you are likely to bake a bitter bread that will feed only half of the people’s hunger. Work, my dear friends is love made visible.
In the story of the Good Shepherd (John 10: 11-18), the hired hand tends the sheep for money. There is nothing wrong with this, but the problem here is that his heart is not in his work. You see, minding the sheep is just a job, and he does it not because he wants to, but because he has to. He doesn’t care about the quality of his work. All he cares about is his wages. For example, many politicians today enter politics because of what is in it for them, what benefits them financially and not because they want to serve the people they represent in a loving and caring way. Many priests and pastors do the same.
Now, what about the Good Shepherd?
The Shepherd owns the sheep and is committed to them. His heart is in his work. And, for him, minding the sheep is not just a job, but his life. So, he does his work not because he has to, but because he wants to. For him Shepherding is a labour of love.
When you look at the current political situation in a country like Nigeria, how can the politician’s heart be in their work, how can they be committed to their work when they are, preoccupied, busy jumping from one party to the other. When they spend the time they are supposed to use in serving the people, taking entourage with them to visit and pay homage to former leaders, all who have failed the people woefully, to seek their support and endorsements. It is quite clear that these politicians are in it to serve their own interests.
You and I, may think that the hired hand has a much easier life. But, when you come to think of it, his work suffers because he gives only a part of himself to it. He also suffers because he stops caring about the quality of his work.
The Good Shepherd’s work on the other hand prospers, because he puts his entire self into it. He prospers as a person because the work brings the best out of him.
The truth of the matter, is that most of the world’s population are hired hands, because we don’t work for ourselves.
This is why I challenge you not to have the attitude of the hired hands but to bring the attitude of the Good Shepherd to your work.
For Christians, Jesus is the supreme example of the Good Shepherd. He is not merely doing a job, but he is committed to love us. He gave His life for us, his sheep. His life wasn’t taken from Him. He gave it, because He cared about his sheep and in loving fulfilment of the Father’s will.
As Christians and indeed as human beings, I urge you to be a loving and caring person. Yes, show genuine concern for those around you.
Remember, Love is a marvellous source of strength and energy. Where genuine love is present, no sacrifice is too great. You and I have only one vocation and that is the vocation to love.
This month may your work and life prosper. May God bring out the best in you.
I pray that in your service of others, you and your household will be inspired by the example of Jesus, the Good Shepherd.
As you have experienced the love of Christ, may the God of power and love help you to be generous in sharing love with others.
Have a love filled month. With every blessing,
Venerable Prebendary Tunde Roberts