We all love this story – we have a lot of heart for the poor little sheep and all its soft woolly cuteness. Not only that, but we can relate!
The thing is, it’s easy to feel a bit lonely at the moment. Some of us are stuck in our houses, which is tough going! All of us are finding that things we usually do with other people; school, sports teams, clubs like Cubs or Girls Brigade, are just not able to happen at the moment. We might feel worried about people being poorly, or just anxious because everything is different to usual!
It’s easy to feel, like that little sheep, a bit lost and alone.
Did you notice that, in the story, the Pharisees thought that some people were better than others, and that Jesus shouldn’t hang out with people who made bad choices? But they forgot one thing; one very important thing. We ALL make bad choices! None of us gets it right all the time. We all get distracted from God and His ways, and wander off to do whatever we feel like.
Hopefully though, God doesn’t really notice, right?
Wrong, of course!
The sheep in the cartoon have numbers round their necks, but there’s something you should know about shepherds in bible times…
You see, shepherds spent SO much time with their sheep, day in, day out, that they knew each and every woolly-one of their flock very, very well. In fact they knew everything about them. They didn’t need to give them numbers – they probably gave them names!
In the same way, God knows each of us. By name! He knows everything about us; how many hairs are on our heads, what we’re good at and what we find tricky, what we’re thinking right now and how we’re feeling right now. He knows everything – even the bad stuff!
The thing is…
God is like a really, really GOOD shepherd! The best! Because He doesn’t just know us, He loves us too. From head to toe, right through and through, He loves us. Even when we make bad decisions, He loves us. Even when we forget about Him and wander off over the hills and far away, He loves us.
He loves us so much, that He’ll never leave us lost and alone!
I reckon that little sheep made some noise when he realised he was lost. I reckon he bleated and baaaaaa’d for all he was worth. And what did the good shepherd do?
He came running.
And when He’d found His sheep, He cried out happily “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.” (v6)
The bible tells us that when we call out to God, He comes close to us.