A few verses were left out from the second reading this past week. The second half of the left out verses is particularly beautiful, not just for preachers and elders in the church, but for all of us. All of us wait and work until the Chief Shepherd appears. And while we may jostle and argue with each other, we would do well to practice the humility that St. Peter encourages of us in the last verses. None of us is the shepherd. We're all sheep, waiting for the Great Shepherd to be revealed, and following him now even when he is unseen.
But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, a criminal, or even as a mischief-maker. Yet if any of you suffers as a Christian, do not consider it a disgrace, but glorify God because you bear this name. For the time has come for judgement to begin with the household of God; if it begins with us, what will be the end for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And
‘If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinners?’
Therefore, let those suffering in accordance with God’s will entrust themselves to a faithful Creator, while continuing to do good.
Now as an elder myself and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as one who shares in the glory to be revealed, I exhort the elders among you to tend the flock of God that is in your charge, exercising the oversight, not under compulsion but willingly, as God would have you do it—not for sordid gain but eagerly. Do not lord it over those in your charge, but be examples to the flock. And when the chief shepherd appears, you will win the crown of glory that never fades away. In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders.And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for
‘God opposes the proud,
but gives grace to the humble.’ - 1 Peter 4.15-5.5