Monday, September 13, 2010

Lost Shepherds

Luk 15:1 One day when many tax collectors and other outcasts came to listen to Jesus, the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law started grumbling, "This man welcomes outcasts and even eats with them!" So Jesus told them this parable: "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them---what do you do? You leave the other ninety-nine sheep in the pasture and go looking for the one that got lost until you find it.

This is the core of our Christian faith: that nobody is forgotten…..

But this parable is not really about affirming the forgotten sheep:
Remember: Jesus told this story because there were religious leaders who were upset that he paid less attention to the regular members in synagogue on the Sabbath than he did to those who never came. They were upset because he spent time with the lost sheep. But he says: “those in the synagogue are OK: I have come for the lost sheep of Israel.”

This is a parable that challenged the Shepherds of Israel to walk in the footsteps of the Good Shepherd: And this is a parable that continues the challenge those of us who self-righteously thank God that we are OK with our Creator. In fact the modern church recognises that there might be some sheep who are "lost" and so they hire a shepherd to go in search of the "lost" sheep. But somewhere in this story is the notion that the 99 “safe” sheep had let the one "lost" sheep down. They should have made sure that she did not get lost in the first place!
So let us be challenged to
- bring healing to those who are broken
- bring courage to those who are frightened
- bring joy to the depressed
- And bring love to the outcast.