I have often thought about the parable of the Shepherd and the 99. That the shepherd will go after the wandering sheep that has lost its way. It always bothered me. Why go after the stupid sheep that obviously weren’t smart enough to stay where it was suppose to. Survival of the fittest right?!? Those other sheep that did what they were told deserved to be with the Shepherd. Right?
My favorite parable EVER is of the prodigal son. I think that is why I love the story of A Christmas Carol, the story is a beautiful example of it never being to late to see the goodness in others. I can’t wait for the holiday season so that I can watch my various selections of the film A Christmas Carol. I pretty much watch one just about everyday. Plus we read it together and I listen to it on audio. Yep..I love that story…
The other day we were watching and episode of BBC’s Planet Earth and these two parables came face to face with me. Yep, I was getting inspiration while watching the animals in the grassland. Its never conventional for me is it?!
The particular part was about this massive migration of caribou (I call them Santa’s reindeer but apparently they are different). A wolf was also looking for some dinner. The herd was the obvious place to find its next meal. The wolf proceeded to go after a deer/caribou. The narrator then proceeded to talk about how the wolf wanted to get one of the weaker deer/caribous separated from the herd because it would be easier to conquer without the protection of the others.
DING DING DING! Did you get that?
When we are away from the herd, we are weaker and more likely to get ourselves caught by a wolf, or by Satan at least. Satan is trying to get us away from the herd since we will not be as safe and will most likely fall.
I love this picture. When a lamb wanders off, the shepherd will go anywhere to save it. They are the ones that are found in the most danger.
So if we are the deer, and Satan is the wolf, then what is the herd in the parable? Well…if could be family, or church but ultimately I believe it is the Savior. Can we be any safer in the Shepherd’s arms?
Which brought me to the original parable. I felt as if water was being splashed on my face when I realized that the Savior was going after the lost sheep and leaving the herd because that was when the lamb was in the most danger.
(I wish you could hear the bells going off in my head…you don’t get quite the same effect reading them....)
That was when I realized that I am the lost sheep. I have never placed myself in that position of the parable. I always assumed that the Savior was going after the "big time" sinners. Not so much the ones that were trying to follow him. ( I have SO much to learn.)
I am the prodigal child that the savior has gone out to save. I am Ebenezer who has only realized partially of what I have been blind to. The Savior will continue to rescue me to the safety of the herd and I will do my best to not to wiggle out of his arms. I still need saved from my sins. My shepherd will save me.
Not only that, but he is doing the same for you. He is doing it for all of us. He is waiting to hold us in his arms and carry us to safety if we just let him.
I wonder what I’ll learn next week in Sunday School….