English shepherds use the word “hefting” to describe the way in which a flock of sheep becomes accustomed and acclimated to a patch of land. Shepherds can also be “hefted” in this way, their lives and fortunes tied to a place and a flock that they love. Jesus is looking for good shepherds who will become “hefted” to a place and a people, giving their lives away in order to help others thrive for God’s glory. We are hefted shepherds in this time, for this community. God gives us a flock of people to shepherd. This is hard work, good work, and it is work that needs to be done.
- John 21:1 - 19