It’s a story that most of us know well, the Parable of the Lost Sheep.
Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbours together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ (Luke chapter 15, verses 3-6)
I am a lost sheep
I don’t know about you but I very often feel like a lost sheep. Especially in this difficult time of the pandemic, when we are not able to meet to worship as we usually do, it’s easy to feel like you are a lost sheep.
Many people understand this parable to mean the one sheep who has wandered away from the flock, a person who has wandered away from Christ. But I believe there is another meaning…the one sheep who feels lost and alone because there is no contact with the rest of the flock.
This kind of lost sheep can relate to many people – those who live in a family of unbelievers and they are the only one dedicated to Christ; those who live alone and have no contact other than church; those who have difficult home lives (unhappy marriage, difficult children) who have no space to let go of their burden and get support. When we aren’t allowed to get together, these difficulties can seem overwhelming.
The Parable of the Lost Son
Further on in this section, Jesus talks about the parable of the lost son. Basically, one of his sons demands his share of the family fortune and goes to make his way in the world. After losing everything and becoming the lowest of the low, he returns to his father for forgiveness. The father welcomes him back with open arms:
“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring me the best robe and put it on. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. (Luke chapter 15, verses 22-24)
I can see a parallel between the two stories – something (or someone) valuable was lost and when it was found, everyone celebrated. They were all grateful that there was life instead of death.
How can you find the one?
It’s important that we remember our brothers and sisters in Christ during difficult times such as these. Is there someone you know who has no family? Do you know of a mother who is struggling to raise several children? Is someone sick and can’t access food or services? Can you bring some shopping to them and leave it at the door? Even if you could just ring and pray together!
This is your chance to imitate Jesus and go looking for the one. Let Jesus work through you to find the lost, or to help them before they become the lost. Let us bring heaven to earth while we wait for Jesus to return.
And may he say:
‘Well done, good and faithful servant…come and share your master’s happiness!’ (Matthew chapter 25, verse 21).
Emma Bamford from Melbourne is returning as a Press Service International writer for Christian Today. Emma is undertaking a part time theology course and is a qualified business marketer. A self-confessed Jesus girl, Emma writes to stir the heart of her readers into becoming more passionate and loving Christians.