Lost and Found
Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, `Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.' Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.Dylan has an intriguing take on this story at her lectionary blog, where she ends the post for this weekend with,
you might have heard a few sheep quietly noting the shepherd's absence and wondering where the shepherd had gone, as one silhouetted figure made its way toward the horizon and the stray ... and some wolf howls echoed in the distance.We find Jesus ever heading out into the night looking to snatch yet another sheep from the wolves. Sometimes in my job as pastor, I am called to head into similar situations that I hate to characterize as it might seem like I am talking about things best left private. But I get glimpses into lives torn by drug and alcohol abuse, violence and death, and in these instances I am called to bring the light of Christ into a dark place, bringing the love of the shepherd to sheep well away from the herd.
Where is the shepherd?
Where are the ninety-nine?
If one sheep is with the shepherd and ninety-nine aren't, who's really the stray?
But the thing I notice, is that I am called to do this not so much because I am a priest, as because I am a follower of Jesus. Each of us who wants to follow Jesus will occasionally find ourselves way on the edge of the herd, looking into the eyes of someone who doesn't realize that their shepherd Jesus still loves him or her and wants what is best, which is the safety of home and the herd. Then we are not with the 99, but out in the night with the Good Shepherd. Your job then is to be the shepherd's eyes, ears, hands, and feet. You are the one to offer God's love to the lost sheep.
It's not that you have to save the whole world, or even a whole herd. But sometimes God will place you in a situation where you can bring the love of the shepherd to people who thought they were all alone.
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor
Labels: Gospel reading