“And I will give you shepherds after my own heart who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.” –Jeremiah 3:15
These words were given to Jeremiah to speak to the people of Judah who had just had Jerusalem sacked and the people were taken into exile around 587 BC. It was at the end of some grueling years for Judah. Their king had acquiesced to the domination of a foreign power and then that foreign power sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the temple. It was a long, slow, drawn out time of one thing after another. Sound familiar?
Jeremiah comes to tell the people that the reason they were in such a fix was because they had stopped being faithful, in part, because they did not have good shepherds to lead them. After this weariness set in, the Lord sends Jeremiah with this small word of hope: the Lord will send shepherds who will feed us with knowledge and understanding.
This week, I begin teaching online for our Seminary, St. Michael’s. I have 8 students in my class. The course is “Foundations in Pastoral Care”. These men have been raised up to be shepherds after the Lord’s own heart. Yet, they need the prayers of the community. I can attest that I cannot fulfill my vocation to be one of your shepherds without your prayers. So, I am going to ask a favor: would you adopt a seminarian and pray for them everyday for the next five months?
This would also involve asking you to send them a card or letter to tell them that you are praying for them. I asked the seminarians if they would agree to this and there has been overwhelming enthusiasm for this idea among them. We need these men to be filled with the Holy Spirit. We also need our church to raise up shepherds after the Lord’s own heart.
Our larger Church, the CEC, is at one of several crossroads right now. We are moving from our first generation of leadership to our second. That involves all kinds of challenges. One of those challenges is asking the Lord to call men to the diaconate, priesthood, and women into mission to start parishes or help grow them. Another challenge in our system is to get our priests to retire to make way for the next generation of shepherds. Please pray that the Lord will make a way for our priests to retire who are of age and that we have priests to take their place.
So, rather than just “giving up” a TV show or some other fast for lent, would you consider adopting a seminarian and praying for vocations? If so, please fill out our form HERE. At minimum, I need eight people. Are you one of them?
The Lord promised that he would give us shepherds after his own heart. We know he is open to us asking him for shepherds to lead us. Let’s lead the way as the Cathedral Church.