Pr. Mary's Pen May_2015

May 2015 Pastor’s Pen

Dear Holy Trinity family,

The shepherd in question wore pearls, a black and white polka dot blouse and matching pocket square.

I was waiting for the light to change at the intersection of Sycamore and Rte. 35 in Shrewsbury.  A plaque in the center median caught my eye:

Elizabeth “Betty” Clark

 gave her life crossing our children.

March 30, 1995

There’s a photo of Betty on the Shrewsbury Police Department’s website.  She looks like a grandmotherly type, with a big smile and a cloud of curly silver-white hair.  She had served as a crossing guard for 20 years before being struck and killed by a car while on duty at the intersection of Sycamore and Colonial.  She was in her 70th year.  

Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”  (John 10:11)  I have no idea of Betty’s faith background, but I’d say she was faithfully carrying out duties delegated by the Good Shepherd!

The Fourth Sunday of Easter is always dedicated to the Good Shepherd.  Psalm 23 is the assigned psalm; the Gospel is from John 10 (Jesus’ words about being the good shepherd).  It’s a beautiful but tricky image.  How many of us know much anything about raising sheep??  What’s the take-away for us?  What’s shepherding got to do with our day-to-day lives?

The plaque dedicated to Betty Clark reminded me that the one divine Good Shepherd works through many human good shepherds.  Some examples are:

·         Pastors

·         Parents

·         Teachers

·         Coaches

·         Scout leaders

·         Doctors, nurses, therapists

·         Police, firefighters, first responders

·         Military personnel

·         Elected leaders

How about expanding our list of those the Good Shepherd counts on to care for the flock?

·         Crossing guards, of all ages!

·         Babysitters

·         Pet sitters

·         Peer counselors in our grammar schools and high schools

·         Adult children who care for aging parents, in a painful but holy role reversal

Most crossing guards return home safely; most of us assist the Good Shepherd without risking our lives.  There are notable exceptions, of course – and those exceptions remind us of how our Lord laid down His life for us.  He told us that those who love Him must follow wherever He leads.

May you follow the Good Shepherd on the path of loving service!  Care faithfully for the other members of the flock, however He gives you opportunity.  Remember: most ministry doesn’t happen within the walls of a church building.  The majority of His flock is not present in our sanctuary or any other house of worship.  They are in the classroom in which you teach, the office in which you work, the hospital or nursing home in which you are employed, the community you protect, the block on which you live, the field on which you play or coach.

In the name of Christ, the great Shepherd of the Sheep,

Pastor Mary Virginia Farnham