Buchan Ness Lighthouse at Boddam,
photography courtesy of Ben Bremner, https://www.facebook.com/ben.bremner3

“What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying?”

Matthew 18:12 (NASB)

One of the common occurances in my childhood was seeing livestock wandering where they should not be. Most of the time it was when I would be out for a walk in the fields and woods that surrounded our village, and returning the wanderer back to the herd was relatively easy. I remember looking out the window one wet morning and cattle were roaming the gardens; they were soon herded by the farmer who someone had phoned. At least they left something that was handy for folks roses. I think it is the rural illustrations in the Bible that help me to understand what God is saying, like today’s verse.

We often hear this verse used in reference to church congregations; the flock of the Lord in the care of His chosen shepherd – the Pastor. Sadly sheep are prone to wander off for any number of reasons, and sadder still they may go unnoticed for some time. I am of the opinion the care of vulnerable sheep in our fellowship is not just the duty of the Pastor or Deacons; it is the duty of the whole fellowship to care for each other. The Biblical proof of this communal duty is seen in the “One Another” statements in God’s Word; read them and put them into practice brethren!

Dear Reader, have you missed someone at church recently? Have you enquired after them whether they are ill, and have you prayed for them? This does not only apply to church; we should look out for our elderly neighbours too; a wee chat over the doorstep is as good an example of care as anything else. What about your e-friend whose blog you haven’t seen for a wee while; a short message by email/messenger is a good way to remind them that you care, and that you are praying for them. So brethren, who is missing in your life lately?


31 thoughts on “Lost Sheep

  1. Such an encouraging reminder to us Alan to love our brothers and sisters in the Lord in this way. You are so right. We may not notice straight away when someone is missing but when we do notice then we should follow it up and not just leave it to that “someone else” as that “someone else” is also probably leaving it for us.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Such a lovely take on these matters.

    I’d definitely agree that we all have equal responsibility. I’d go further and suggest that we’re all culpable as believers – not for the sins if others, of course not. But I believe we are culpable through the sin of omission, because we should expect to be held accountable.

    Andy B

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love the Parable of the Lost Sheep. It is so rich and it’s application can be used in so many ways including how you suggest we might reach out to a church member who is MIA. Too many times, people don’t follow up with other people when they quit coming. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Rainer. I agree about the MIA in church life; sometimes it happens when they fall ill and can’t attend for some time, then realise no one misses them. This has happened to me in the past; but my church now is very proactive in looking out for folk/sheep. God bless you and Teri this weekend brother. 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  4. To make someone feel cared for can do them the world of good. That’s a great infographic on the “one another” statements, Alan. It’s good to have them collected together like that and we can see the many ways we can support each other.
    I smiled at the thought of the cattle leaving behind plant food. 😀 There was quite a lot of humour, too, in the introduction to the infographic. 🙂
    Have a lovely weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good morning Lesley🌞
      As I write my neighbourhood squirrel is showing appreciation for my care by scoffing the peanuts on the birdfeeder, we call him Sid Vicious cos he doesn’t share well with others. Animals are a good spiritual lesson to us if we watch them. Thank you for your encouragement sister. May you be blessed in Him today 🙏

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Sid Vicious! Lol, Alan. 🙂 I love to watch the wildlife in our garden too. We once had a visiting blue-tit which we called Beetlejuice because it reminded us of the character from the film. I can’t think why now!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you ALAN. Sheep and Shepherding is., different in many parts of the world. In Australia it is often about wool quality more than about meat but I do remember a teacher who rescued a very young one from a ravine and the farmer gave it to him as a gift. He called it lamb chops so his children would know its purpose in life. That Ewe is still alive today now in a suburban backyard because it became a member of the family. More loved than a pet dog. cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s funny you should mention that. I recently bought A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 (although I haven’t started reading it yet). But I didn’t realize Keller had a trilogy. So I will definitely have to check that out. Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

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