During a demonstration of sheep- herding using a Border Collie, the dog trainer explained that because sheep are highly vulnerable to wild animals, their main defense against predators is to stay together in a tightly knit group. “A sheep alone is a dead sheep,” the trainer said. “The dog always keeps the sheep together as it moves them.”
The biblical image of God as our shepherd is a powerful reminder of how much we need each other in the community of faith. When writing about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, the psalmist said, “[God] made His own people go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock; and He led them on safely, so that they did not fear” (Ps. 78:52-53).
As part of God’s flock, we who have trusted Christ are under His guiding, protecting hand while being surrounded by the shielding presence of others. We are part of a larger body of believers in which there is safety and accountability.
While we don’t give up our personal responsibility for thought and action as members of the flock, we are to embrace the concept of “we” rather than “me” in our daily lives. With Christ as our Shepherd and fellow believers around us, we find safety in the flock.
As God’s family, we’re protected by Him and by each other. (RBC)