Blessed… Reason to Celebrate?

“Be careful that you don’t look down on one of these little ones. I say to you that their angels in heaven are always looking into the face of my Father who is in heaven. What do you think? If someone had one hundred sheep and one of them wandered off, wouldn’t he leave the ninety-nine on the hillsides and go in search for the one that wandered off? If he finds it, I assure you that he is happier about having that one sheep than about the ninety-nine who didn’t wander off. In the same way, my Father who is in heaven doesn’t want to lose one of these little ones (Matthew 18:10-14, Common English Bible).

When we read today’s lesson, from a business perspective, it makes no sense. Why would a shepherd leave the overwhelming majority of his flock unattended to go out and search for one that wandered away? Sure, the one sheep is valuable but by leaving the flock unattended would leave 99 times the value in danger of loss. Sheep are not the most intelligent animals God created and if one would wander away, even under the diligent watch of the shepherd, the other 99 could disappear while the shepherd was out chasing down that one lost sheep. Perhaps if there were two shepherds there it would make more sense.

The truth is, however, this parable isn’t about what makes good business sense! It also isn’t about a finite being who is the shepherd, it is about an infinite God who can watch over each of us while still pursuing those who have wandered from the flock or perhaps have never been part of the flock.

When the shepherd, who has the infinite power to watch over the flock and at the same time pursue a wandering sheep, when that maverick comes home, it is reason to celebrate. As for the rest of the sheep, there isn’t need to celebrate them at that moment, they are already part of the flock. The way I see it, God celebrated our return when we were brought back to the flock.

Without question, the sheep in this parable are we who follow Christ or at least for the wanderer, a would-be Christ follower. And, as I have already said, sheep are not the most intelligent animals of the creation. Sometimes we aren’t either. It becomes easy for us to wander from the place God wants us to be, calls us to be. We know where we belong and yet all too often, we still wander. We need to be permanently on guard to insure that we do not wander.

I am reminded of the old song, “Since Jesus Came Into My Heart.” The second verse says, “I have ceased from my wand’ring and going astray, since Jesus came into my heart; And my sins which were many are all washed away, since Jesus came into my heart.”

It is my prayer that I truly have “…ceased from my wand-ring and going astray…” I know, “My sins which were many are all washed away…” I pray the same for you.

Where have you wandered? How did the ever-watchful Shepherd find you?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Thanksgiving,

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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