The sheep is just doing what sheep do. It’s probably picking its way along an uneven path, following the ewe ahead of it, and somehow misses its footing on the side of a hillock. It could be injured from the fall or maybe caught in brambles at the bottom, but regardless, now it is alone and vulnerable. Time is of the essence.
When the shepherd realizes one of his flock is missing, he has to act quickly; he has a very narrow window of opportunity. He knows the other sheep will instinctively huddle together as a group and be safe, at least temporarily, so he hurries off to find the lost animal before it is picked off by a predator.
This is the part I love about the Biblical account in Luke’s gospel:
When the shepherd spots the missing sheep, Continue reading What’s Missing in the Parable of the Lost Sheep
Jesus has been called the master storyteller, and with good reason. His parables were compelling and oh-so-relatable. His illustrations from daily life immediately drew people in.
I always imagined He must have used humor and dramatic flourishes when He was telling His stories. Sometimes I even pictured Him singing parts of the lesson.
Think about it. The people were so enthralled, they crowded around Him constantly to hear more. Would they have done that for a dry lecture in the hot sun, surrounded by other sweaty humans? I didn’t think so.
And then I went to Alaska.
It’s been some years now since my daughter and I took this trip. We joined my parents for a cruise organized by our denomination down the Inside Passage from Seward to Ketchikan. The scenery was spectacular, of course, and the weather unseasonably perfect.
Frankly, as I stood on the deck of the ship, I fully expected to see Jesus return at any moment through those amazing cloud formations.
Yet there was another aspect of that week-long cruise that stunned and delighted me even more than my surroundings. Continue reading What I Learned from a Flat-Footed Preacher
In the last two weeks, two of my closest family members have faced health crises that have sent me into an emotional tailspin. I’ve defaulted to my specialty – worry – and it has not served me well. Can you relate?
I wake up again and again in the night, my mind a dark labyrinth of thoughts spinning and clashing out of control. Fear lurks like a thick fog over my bed. Each time, I pray: for a positive outcome to whatever medical procedure looms next, for complete healing of mind and body, for confidence and courage. Then I find soft comfort as I drift back to sleep, only to wake again a short time later, my mind in overdrive once more. Continue reading This package is not for you