The Lost Sheep

17th Sunday after Pentecost
Scripture: St. Luke 15:1-10

There is no other scripture in the Bible that speaks of the love of the Lord and the depth of His love for the lost sheep.

We find in 1 Timothy 1:12-17 that we have been saved by our Lord to not only serve Him but to also seek the lost sheep of His Flock. Have you ever thought or considered that you have gifts and graces that the Lord has given to you that only you can use to call the lost sheep back into the flock of the redeemed? What special gift do you have to offer Him?

At the bus stop in front of the church sits an old man, waiting for his ride down to the library, where he will spend yet another day searching for a friend in the loneliness of the day.

In the corner of the coffee shop, perhaps a Starbucks, a single mother sips her non-fat mocha latte until closing time. She glances up every time the door opens for someone to come in, to see if hope has walked in and spotted her.

Hidden in a group of friends, walking the corridors of the mall, a teenager waits for this parents to call. It’s the call that will let him know that his parents really care for him.

You have 100 places to be and a million things to do, but are you willing to step up to the plate and search for these people, simply smile, and say “I love you and the Lord loves you.”?

Now we can begin to grasp the true message in the parable of the lost sheep as we sit comfortably, cuddly warm, and safe with the 99 who did not stray.

Do you identify with the old man sitting on the bench waiting on the bus? Did you know his wife of 50 years has recently died? All of his family is miles away. They never send cards or letters or call him on the phone. He longs for a relationship, even with a stranger. Will you respond to his need?

Do you identify with the single woman sitting at Starbucks who longs for conversation?

Do you identify with the teenager, lost in the crowd?

Yes, I know we have hundreds of places to go and millions of things to do before the end of day, but can’t we let these things wait for an hour or two and allow the Lord to use us in making others aware that someone cares about them? We are the hands and heart of God in this vast world in which we live. Do you feel a sense of urgency to reach out and touch someone with the love of God today?

I sense that is why the Lord placed so many churches across this great land. Each and every one of us has something special, a gift, to carry the message of the Lord to the lost sheep. Once we find the lost sheep, let us offer them the most precious gift possible, the Lord Jesus Christ!

I didn’t grow up in an active church. I was lost and wandering in the wilderness of sin and spiritual death. Over many years, many offered me a glimpse of the presence of the Lord, but until I became open to feel the Lord’s presence in my life and His personal invitation to be His servant I was lost in the wilderness. Each time we offer the Lord’s love and blessings to someone, He rejoices. Have you felt those blessings in your life as you talk to friends and strangers sharing your personal journey with them?

If you sense the feeling of the Lord as part of the 99, that is wonderful. But it is nothing compared to the joy you will receive when you offer someone who is wandering in the wilderness of sin, the Love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.