“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?” (Matthew 18:12)
The preciousness of the children of God is revealed here. Only a shepherd who cares for his sheep will spend the time and effort to go after one sheep that has wandered off. This is the picture we have of our God in Jesus Christ, our Good Shepherd. We are His and He does not even consider losing one of us. He will extend His power and grace to find and draw us back into His fold. Yes, we are a community of faith but that community is made up of individuals of which He is concerned. And we know this, that with Him we are secure, knowing He will never give up on us and will see us back to His care.
We all want someone to care about us in this life. We will be lonely if there is no one. And yet, even if we were not to find one person here to care for us, we know that there is One who is always there. His name is God Almighty and we are His sheep for eternity. He will not abandon us to the dangers of this world. He will not turn the other way and let us wander off to our own destruction. He will respond if we wander off. He will come after us and He will not stop until He has us back in His fold, safe and sound. The awesomeness of such love is hard for us to comprehend but it is the love of our God.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your never-ending concern for us even to the point of going after us when we go astray. Indeed, we do go astray. We fall into sin over and over again. We need You to come after us and bring us home because we do not know the way. Thank You for Jesus who is our Way, Truth and Life. In His name. Amen.
Pastor Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn.