The Lost Sheep is about a sheep that wandered off and got lost. When the shepherd counted the sheep and noticed one missing, he left all the others to look for it. The shepherd would have done anything to find that animal. When he finds it, he throws a party!
Then there’s the coin. A woman had 10 silver coins, but lost one. She searches her entire house by tidying every thing. She lights a lamp so she can see, even in dark corners. She finds the coin and throws a party!
Next, a father is sad because his son has left. He’s taken his inheritance with him, not planning on coming home. Every day the father looks over the horizon, searching for a hit of hope that his son might return. One day, to his delight, he sees him in the distance. The father doesn’t care what the son has done wrong, he is so excited to see him. The father runs to meet him, and throws him a party!
In all three of these stories there are some themes that show us what the Shepherd is like.
- He is sad when we are “lost”
- He is willing to do whatever it takes
- He throws a big party whenever someone is “found”!
As I read these stories I thought of some of the kids I’ve encountered as a relief teacher. I recently met a 7 year old girl, tough as they come, who has somehow learnt to make herself throw up. A 7 year old! I also met a 5 year old boy who shows no sense of physical boundries. He has no probalm touching other kids in inappropriate places. The only way a 5 year old kids could think that that’s OK is if someone is doing that to him. These are kids that will never make it to our amazing Sunday morning programs, but they so desperately need to know the love of Jesus. He loves them so much more then we could ever imagine. His desire is that they know Him, no matter what crap they go through in their life. What a party it will be when those kids are found by Jesus.
The question that the Holy Spirit asked me as I read this was, “How far are you willing to go?” Good question! Am I willing to do whatever it takes search for these kids? It may take spending less money on the technology we want for our Sunday programs and putting it into outreach. It may take giving up a lunchtime every week to hang out in a school playground (with permission for the school of course!). It may mean spending money in an area that we can guarantee we won’t see a financial return in. It may even be more then that.
I would love to hear your thoughts about reaching kids that we will never see on a Sunday morning!