Rev. Doug Schader, Pastor
A Message from the Pastor's Desk:
YES – A SHEEP FOREVER
Welcome to 2022 and Welcome the third year of COVID-19! As I write this year’s message for our yearbook, my family is in quaranatine. I lost track of the number of times we had to quarantine in the last two years. But, this time, it is different. Our family has joined those who have tested positive and come down with COVID-19. We’ve been responsible and diligent. We wear masks, use hand sanitizer, and have been vaccinated. Yet, despite all this, my son, Christian, tested positive and got sick from COVID-19. Am I surprised? No. Do I feel betrayed or let down? No. It is real and no matter what we do, we can still get infected. If we do all we can though, hopefully, it won’t be as bad. While Christian is sick, he is at home and recovering. Dea has had mild symptoms and at the moment I seem to be asymptomatic. I’m thankful for this.
On Sunday, after we found out Christian was positive, Dea and I tried to contact everyone who we could think of who may have been exposed to let them know. It was during one of these calls that I realized, I’ve been thought of as a sheep. In fact, I was told, “You can’t be a sheep forever!” As I hung up on the phone, I thought, “Yes, yes I can!” The term sheep has been used a lot during the pandemic. It implies that one is a coward or doesn’t think. Basically, just blindly follows along. I found that those who use this term are the ones who lack courage.
I am a sheep! I am a sheep forever! “I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father.” – John 10:11-15. The Shepherd… calls his own sheep by name… and the sheep follow.” -- John 10:2-4. I am a sheep and I follow Christ, the Good Shepherd. To follow Christ takes more than courage. It takes faith. When we follow the Good Shepherd, we try every day to love as He loves. We care about others, treating them with respect, dignity, concern for their well-being. We try to meet others where they’re at and love them. Live the Golden Rule – Treat others the way you want to treated. Go above and beyond to do the right thing.
I feel we’ve learned nothing from the last two years! We are more divided, more opinionated and just plain more mean. We need more sheep, not wolves in sheep’s clothing. Jesus tells us, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.” John 13:34.
To love as the Good Shepherd is to love without bounds, to forgive endlessly, to meet each other as a child of God, to find ways to come together, and meet on common ground. Don’t be divisive! We need to hold each other in our hearts. We must pray for each other and our world. Yes, I am a sheep forever! And I’m thankful that Christ is my Shepherd.
Love & Blessings,
© Trinity United Church of Christ 2022