Walking in the Valley (Of the Shadow)

I am reflecting on this strange thing I do for a living.  My job these days is a unique combination of CEO and preacher but this week I have mainly been a parish minister.  No different than when my church ran 200 and not 2,000.  No different at all.  We have suffered three deaths at Christ Church and my time over the past seven days has been spent with the Congregational Care Team, grieving families and writing funeral homilies.  Each of these three were a part of the church when I arrived here in 1997 and of that original 200, there can’t be more than 75 left.  Some have moved or transferred to other churches but most have died and I have officiated their funerals.  It seems these times bring me back to the heart of one of the things God calls pastors to do: Simply walk with hurting people in His name.  I am so sorry that these wonderful families have suffered loss this week.  But when people are hurting, God calls others to “walk through the valley of the shadow of death” with them.  I pray for all who grieve on this day and for the wonderful people in churches of all sizes who walk with them in the name of Jesus Christ.

Published by Rev. Shane L. Bishop

Senior Pastor of Christ Church, Fairview Heights, IL since 1997. I am an orthodox Christian but I am not in a bad mood about it.

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