Leaving the Safe and Sound

"Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them." So he told them this parable: "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his 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. "(Luke 15:1-7)

I love this parable.  Jesus follows it up with one about a lost coin and the story of the prodigal son.  All stories about the rejoicing that goes on when the lost (sheep, coin, son) were found again.  Stories about the rejoicing when a sinner repents.

Yet to me, I see a story of so much more.  Especially in this parable of the lost sheep.  I see a man who left the 99 who were safe and sound, and went out into the night looking for one in danger.  He put himself in harm's way to find that one lost sheep.  He did not know what he would encounter, but out into the night he went: searching, seeking, with love and care for the sheep in his heart, hoping to find the straggler before harm came upon him.  When He did, he rejoiced!  The "lost" was found.  The "dead" was alive again!

A great picture of Jesus.  Jesus who leaves the 99 safe, sound and secure in Him and goes out into the night looking for the lost, the sick, the depressed, the disappointed, the wounded and the enslaved.  He not only seeks out the sinner but the disenfranchised, the ones hurt by other believers, the unloved and the bitter.; those who have known safety within His flock, but whose confusion and pain has led them off the path.  He pursues the brokenhearted, the lonely and even those whose choices put them where they are today.  He doesn't give up, He doesn't surrender.

He loves.

He calls us to do the same. 

We are surrounded by "lost sheep."  The streets are filled with them.  We cross their path at work, shopping and walking downtown.  We see them and yet we do not always look with the eyes of Jesus.  Jesus looked with love.  He saw what they could be and not what they were.

He pointed them to the Father and he called them with love.

He calls us to do the same. 

We are called to leave the safety and security of this world and to seek out the lost sheep, pointing them to the life eternal.

In Love, let us seek out those who are hurting and walk with them, sharing not just in word but in action and deed as well.

Let's be seekers.  Seekers of the Lost Sheep.

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