In Luke 15 Jesus tells about rescuing a lost sheep, a silly lost sheep who was supposed to be following the shepherd, but s/he got distracted. Separated from the herd, the sheep was frightened, trembling, panicked! S/he felt LOST. Jesus did not end the storytelling there, “as if He sensed we’d miss the message He tells of a lost coin and then of a lost son.” (Christine Caine, Undaunted, p. 134).
This week the bulletin cover at church cried out to me. Look at the expression on Jesus’ face as He reaches for the lost sheep. I said to Crystal who was sitting beside me in the pew. I am this lost sheep. Cindy, who was sitting beside Crystal, said, “I am the lost sheep, too.” During the announcement time at church one woman said, “I just love coming here. I never feel inferior. I leave feeling so much better. ” We all laughed, glad that she felt we were all such wrecks that being with us made her feel better. She’ll never live this one down!
Seriously, we really are in a serious business. Saving the lost is very serious and I will end today with the stirring words of Christine Caine from her book Undaunted:
These stories, [Jesus] says, will remind you of something I want you always to remember: No matter how deep the pit or dark the night, I will always look for you and rescue you because I love you with an everlasting love. You are precious to me. Even when you mess up, even when you’re careless or mistaken or afraid or broken or weak, I still love you. Even when you are incapable of doing anything for anyone, including yourself, I still love you. And just as I come for you, I come for all those who have made mistakes, and those who are overlooked, for those devalued and despised. I come for all the wrong people–the careless and uncared for, the merry and miserable. I come for the lost, whether the lost is a silly sheep, a silver coin, or a squandering son. (p.135)
He is with us,