Feed the Flock

One of the most impactful stories in the Bible to me is the Restoration of Peter (John 21:15-19). Three times Peter had denied Jesus; three times Jesus asks if he loves him. With every "Yes, Lord, you know I love you," comes a command: take care of the flock. Each time the command is phrased slightly differently: "feed my lambs" (v. 15), "take care of [literally "shepherd"] my sheep" (v. 16), and "feed my sheep" (v. 17). For every betrayal comes a restoration and a show of trust, and the forgiveness of Christ in this moment is not something Peter will ever forget.

Aside from being a good name for a soup kitchen (my sister's idea), "feed my sheep" is a command for us all, I feel. Each of us shares a responsibility to care for one another and to feed each other with spiritual food. It's easy to say that's the sole domain of the preacher, and while it is my primary job, it's one of your tasks, too. Discipleship begins in the home, after all, and it's up to the average person to educate their friends and family about the faith. Children especially need this kind of "feeding" at home.

It's difficult to feed the lambs in church when they aren't being fed at home. When it comes down to "preacher vs. parents," nine times out of ten, the preacher has already lost. When it comes to feeding sheep, no adult can have a deep and abiding relationship with God if the only time God gets is Sunday morning worship. We must feed, and feed regularly, at the table of the Lord. Then, and only then, can we feed the rest of the flock as Christ commanded Peter.

Feed His sheep.

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