“It’s Life!” Happy New Sheep Year!

Do you want a hint about the secret to hopefulness in dismal, pandemic times? Talk to a shepherd or a shepherd’s family looking forward to lambing time. They may anticipate days or even weeks of hard work and sleepless days and nights, lambing hundreds of ewes. Yet, I once asked a shepherds wife what could cause a shepherd to be so in love with lambing, despite it all. She relied quickly and simply: “It’s life!”

The ovine new year of life for our farm started nine days ago when I returned from Margaret and Graham Phillipson’s Littledale Farm in Richland Center, Wisconsin, with our new rental ram. It started the countdown to Eastertide lambing here at Heatherhope.

Here is what the moment of his introduction to our small flock looked like.

Our new ram starts his work with his nose. The ewes are shy at first, but as the shepherdess once said, “Where there’s a willy there’s a way!” Photo by John

Of course, Covid-19 and other agents of death sometimes seem to have the upper hand. But Connie and I know that the gift of life from the Creator is impossible to stop. So we await new life of all kinds that will happen for us this coming spring and summer! And so, we hope in the Lord.

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About John

John is a retired pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America who has served congregations for over 40 years, including in rural, suburban, campus ministry and urban settings. His love of Border Collie sheepdogs has been fortified by his many friendships with shepherds all around the world. Nothing he has ever or will ever accomplish is as significant as the patience God, his wife and his friends have shown in putting up with his deficiencies.
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