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The good sheepdog

I've learned a lot about being a pastor from Esau, our family's hairy sheepdog. The American Kennel Club calls him a bearded collie, but that's misleading since he looks nothing like Lassie. He's actually a Scottish version of the Old English sheepdog, which I believe makes him a Presbyterian.

I have always been uneasy with thinking of myself as the shepherd of our congregation. That role belongs to Jesus Christ. I've learned that it's far more helpful to think of myself as a sheepdog that nudges sheep toward the only Savior of the flock.

My favorite household chore is to take Esau around the block for his morning walk. We do this as liturgy. As we shuffle along, both of us are waking up to the new day that has come as a grace from God. Typically, Esau reminds me to greet the day with excitement.


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