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Who’s Minding the Sheep?

My granddaughter Addie Grace loves a stop motion British show on TV entitled Shaun the Sheep.  I have watched it with her many times and the sheep are constantly getting in trouble with Shaun (the main character) and Bitzer (the dog) doing everything they can to keep the sheep out of trouble.  The farmer doesn’t even realize that his sheep are really very smart and that a whole lot of things are going on without his knowledge.  When he drives into the yard from doing errands he doesn’t realize all that has happened behind the scenes and all he sees are his lovely sheep.  Bitzer and Shaun are usually exhausted from having to keep it all together and this happens day after day.  It seems the main problem they have with the sheep is keeping them all together and in the same place.  Usually one thing starts the whole mess and then it turns into another and a huge situation occurs and the sheep are out of control.  The thing that comes across in every situation is that Bitzer and Shaun actually care for the sheep and want them to stay safe.  Their continued caring hearts are seen as they deal with one problem after another.  One particular sheep’s name is Shirley.   Shirley is an eating machine and finds many ways to find something she can consume.  The only problem with that is when she gets herself in a fix, it is almost impossible to move her back to the barn.  Shaun devises many different ways to get her back, but every time he has to come up with a new idea that will make up for her heaviness.  He succeeds though and when they are all back together the world is good!

In Luke 15:1-7 the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling because Jesus really cared for sinners by receiving them and even eating with them.  He shared a “sheep parable” with them about how any man would leave the flock of sheep to go return one lost sheep.  Then when he gets that sheep back home, all will rejoice because he has found his lost sheep.  Then Jesus drives home the point of how we should be caring for the one lost sheep more than those who are already in the flock and safe.  Why?  Because those in the flock aren’t lost!  Wow!  What a great parable for those of us who only want to associate with the “saved” or the flock.  It is much safer for us, and much easier, but it lines us up with the Pharisees and those scribes!!  Who wants to be in line with their reasoning?  Not Me!  We meet people who are the lost sheep every day and they don’t even know they are lost.  We work with them, eat lunch with them, and even coach sports with them.  We don’t even have to look very hard to find them, they are right there with us.  They are lost sheep eating whatever they can of the world to find purpose and hope and they are fat and happy without Jesus.  This is where the power of the Holy Spirit comes in.  When they see Christ in you and experience the hope you have through you sharing your life story, the Lord starts to work on their mind and their heart.  When they see you really care, they respond.  When they hear of a flock that is just over the hill of belief, they realize they really are lost and then it comes to decision time.  Keep in mind.  They would never get to the decision time unless you reached out to them and showed them they were lost.  At that point, you have gone after the lost sheep.  Verse 7 of Chapter 15 is a good result of reaching the lost sheep where Jesus says, “I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner (lost sheep) who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”  I forgot to mention there is one more character that is a constant hindrance to Shaun and Bitzer keeping the sheep together, and that character is Pidsley.  He is jealous of Shaun and Bitzer and tries to thwart their every move.  In the end, He never succeeds and all the sheep are in the flock, safe and sound.  You may have some tough times getting the lost sheep in the fold, but don’t give up.  Jesus has already won!!  Don’t let the Pidsley’s of life get you off track and keep you from reaching the lost sheep of this world.  Believe it or not, they want to be found.

It’s amazing what we can get from a kid’s show.  Shirley is the sheep that is always trying to get lost and Shaun is doing everything he can to get her back in the fold.  Maybe we need the attitude of Shaun, and will do anything we can to reach those lost sheep.  I feel an attitude change coming on.   At the end of every show Shaun does a dance where he raises his arms up and down and dances to the music.  If we will reach some lost sheep,  I believe we will be doing the same dance with those in heavenly places over finding one more “lost sheep.”  

The Pilgrimage continues…

David Warren

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