Easter Week Devotion - Day 4
So, in Luke 15, Jesus talks about sheep. Here’s what he says,
“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 neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.'"
What I want to know is why was that sheep all alone in the first place?Did it get distracted? Did it see better grass to feed on? Did it see a female sheep off in another herd that it fancied?
We don’t know why this sheep ended up alone. What we do know is that this sheep was not with its flock.
Was the sheep even aware that it was now cut off from the others? How do you think it must have felt? Alone? Isolated? Afraid?
However it felt, there was no chance of that sheep surviving or making it back to its flock on its own.
You and I are like that sheep. We have been separated from the flock of God because of our sin. Instead of going to God, we go to what we think are greener patches of grass - we get distracted, we find other things of interest, or we grow weary from our circumstances.
We give ourselves to other people.
We give ourselves to our work.
We give ourselves to money.
We give ourselves to power.
We give ourselves to sex.
We give ourselves to…you name it.
When we do that, we feel shriveled and withered. We feel, as Bilbo Baggins from The Lord of the Rings puts it, “Thin…sort of stretched…like butter scraped over too much bread.”
None of those things are bad things inherently. The problem occurs when we turn good things into ultimate things OR when we seek after things that the Good Shepherd has not led us to. This is what the Bible refers to as idolatry.
Our idolatry has separated us from God. That’s a problem because on our own, like that sheep, we have no chance of surviving (let alone flourishing!)
What we need is a Shepherd to find us, pick us up, and take us back into the flock himself.