Prayer of the Day: Lord Jesus, You are the Good Shepherd, without whom nothing is secure. Rescue and preserve us that we may not be lost but follow You, rejoicing in the way that leads to eternal life, for you live and reign with the Father and Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
The problem with the lost sheep in Jesus’ parable in Luke 15:1-7, is that it didn’t follow the shepherd all the way back to the sheepfold. Perhaps it was in the back of the flock and started lagging behind a bit and soon found an interesting ant carrying a leaf and decided to follow it. The ant led the curious sheep through an opening between two large stones. By this time the sheep had lost sight of the shepherd and the rest of the flock. As he trailed the ant he didn’t see the thorn bush. Too late he found he had snagged his wool on the thorns and there he was stuck. The more he struggled the more he became ensnared. Exhausted from his struggle, his mouth dry and throat parched he barely could issue a weak “bleat.”
There he stood, too snagged to even lay down. Eventually the sun moved far down the western sky. Night would soon be upon him. He would be easy prey for any, bear or lion, wolf or coyote on the prowl.
Then he heard a familiar voice calling. He knew that voice. It was the shepherd. He bleated a “baa.”
“What have you got yourself into?” the shepherd asked. “How did you get back here? Well come on let’s get you back home, though we’ll have to leave some of you here. This might hurt a bit. Ready? Here we go.” All in one motion the shepherd yanked me from the thorn bush and soon I was flying through the air only to land on his shoulders.
“Well,” said the shepherd. “Some bear or lion is going to pretty disappointed when they follow the scent to this bush, only to find a few strands of your wool caught on the thorns.
We haven’t had a party back at the sheepfold for a while. There’ll be dancing tonight.”
And so it is that the Lord Rescues us and turns our mourning into dancing.