Good Shepherd Sunday

Last night the Child Development Center (CDC) had their annual “Spring Sharing” event in the Christian Growth Center. I couldn’t get near the place!

I had a phone call about the time I planned to go down, then another situation came up. When I returned, people were lined up far down the hall and out the door to get in. I tried a few minutes later, and then again. There were so many people who had gathered to hear their children and grandchildren sing and perform that I finally gave up and went home! (I heard it went great, which I knew it would, because it always does!)

Isn’t that a great problem to have! A vital program bursting at the seams! The life and energy that take place each weekday are amazing. Every morning the children come…every morning caring, highly competent teachers and staff work with them in these critical, formative years, as parents go to work or other pursuits, entrusting their children to us.

That is a sacred and honorable duty…no, not so much a duty as an opportunity. We are blessed with the opportunity to be part of these children’s and their families’ lives. And our staff who work with them do so with great love and great skill.

Some of the children come back with their families on Sundays—in fact, many of them do. Much of the growth in the 8:40 Awakening Service has come from these families. We are thrilled that many of them feel so strongly about their experiences with the CDC that they feel drawn to the worship life of the church as well.

I can tell you that these children help keep this big building alive during the week! Any time I need an energy boost, I simply walk down among the children where the energy flows unceasingly! Seriously, we miss the children when they’re not here.

Many thanks to Sidney McCrory and her amazing staff for the incredible work they do with the children and families served through this vital ministry of First Church…a ministry that is truly a blessing to the whole church!

The Easter Season, the Great Fifty Days, continues. This Sunday, the Fourth Sunday of Easter, is traditionally known as Good Shepherd Sunday. Yes, we’ll focus on John 10:11-18, where Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd,” with hints of Psalm 23 and Ezekiel 34. The image of shepherd is not one that is common around Waynesville, but it was most common in Jesus’ day, and still is, in fact, in the Middle East today. What can this well-known metaphor mean to us today in a high tech, non-agrarian world?

It could be that someone you know is in need of a “shepherd,” or the Shepherd. Invite them along. Studies tell us most people visit a church for the first time when invited by someone they know and respect, and that there are millions out there who say they would attend if such a person invited them. Think and pray about this…you could do a great service to someone you know!

See you Sunday at the place of the Good Shepherd…and hopefully good shepherding!

Sandy

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