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'It's a Thing of the Soul'

'It's a Thing of the Soul'
Image: Pearl / Lightstock

My Dear Shepherds,

Dr. Tim Laniak, an Old Testament professor at Gordon-Conwell Seminary, Charlotte, interviewed a Bedouin shepherd in Jordan some 20 years ago.

Q. How many sheep and goats do you have?

A. 2000. I have the biggest flock in this area…

Q. How many did you start with?

A. I began with one in 1984. And I still know every one of them. They are like family to me.

Q. With that many, you still know every one of them?

A. Yes. I am with the flocks every day. Although I have homes in the village, I stay out here with them during the summer [migration]. I must personally supervise the care of the sheep or I shouldn't be a shepherd… It's a thing of the soul; it's not a business.

As Paul bid a tearful farewell to the elders of the Ephesian church in Acts 20 he took them back again to their calling:

Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood (Acts 20:28). ...

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