“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after that which is lost, until he finds it?”
I’m not a shepherd. I’ve never had livestock, so I would love to hear what those of you who do raise animals have to say about this: if I were a shepherd, with 100 sheep, and I did lose one, I would definitely NOT leave the 99 “in the wilderness” to go looking for the lost one. I would cut my losses, be grateful to have kept the 99, and herd that flock home to the farm. I would definitely not leave them unguarded in a dangerous place, susceptible to predators and poachers, to go find one that was stupid enough to have wandered off. It’s a good thing Jesus is a much kinder shepherd than I would be.
This summer our primary Scripture for Vacation Bible School is the 23rd Psalm, which famously begins “The Lord is my shepherd.” If the Lord is my shepherd, that means I’m a sheep, an animal not particularly known for being glamorous or smart. In July, as we prepare for VBS, we’ll dig deeper into this famous psalm and consider anew the claims it makes about who we are and what our relationship with God should be like. We’ll continue in August with the parables of Luke, examining how the stories Jesus told give us valuable information about the nature of God and God’s Kingdom.
These are among the most famous passages in the Bible. I often struggle to lay aside my ideas of what I think the most familiar verses of Scripture mean, but God continues to invite us deeper and deeper into his living Word, which is only stale or flat as long as we decide we already know what it means. I invite you to join us for our special Bible study on Tuesday nights in July on the 23rd Psalm or to prayerfully read the parables of Luke at home. God is still speaking through these texts when we open our hearts to listen.
The Grace and Peace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be yours.
Katy Shedlock, Pastor
Rockford Community United Methodist Church
Tuesday nights in July at 6:30! Join us!
Calling all Rockford elementary kids to join us from 9-12 each day for songs, crafts, stories, and games!