READ : Luke 15:1-9
The imagery of the shepherd seeking his lost sheep holds the imaginations of those telling the gospel story. During the revivals led by Dwight L. Moody, the soloist Ira Sankey sang these words:
There were ninety and nine that safely lay
In the shelter of the fold,
But one was out on the hills away,
Far off from the gates of gold.
Away on the mountains wild and bare,
Away from the tender shepherd’s care.
The story ends triumphantly with rejoicing that the Lord brings back His own! Years before this song was written, the theme had been expressed by a displaced people as they sang, “Done foun’ my lost sheep.” For those whose life was difficult, how reassuring to know the Good Shepherd would seek them out.
Lost and found accounts often provide great stories. Relief comes when a child who has been missing in a crowd is reunited with her parents, when the brother missing in activities unacceptable to his kin returns to those who love him. Many of our losses, when recovered, bring joy even as the finding of the lost sheep brought rejoicing to the Shepherd.
When have you felt alone, lost, fearful or alienated? Wasn’t it comforting to realize that the Good Shepherd was there bringing you back to the fold!
Thank You, Jesus, for Your faithfulness in reclaiming us from the forces which would separate us from You. Amen.