Today's Lectionary Text
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
“If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of stumbling blocks! Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to the one by whom the stumbling block comes!
“If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life maimed or lame than to have two hands or two feet and to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into the hell of fire.
“Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven. What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.
The picture above is of part of my nephew’s sheep herd. This is what I like to call the “nursery” as it is the pen where he keeps all the ewe’s with lambs. We raised cattle growing up and the only time I spent with sheep was while livestock judging.
I asked my nephew several questions about his herd and his sheep so I could gain a better understanding of how he raises them. He gathers them in at night to a secure pen and his donkey watches over them. When he can he brings the ewes that are about to lamb into the lambing shed so he can watch over and help if necessary.
He is a good shepherd to his flock. If a lamb or an ewe is missing when he goes to bring them in at night, he searches for it until it is found.
I’m grateful that we too have a good shepherd who tends to us. I’m humbled that he goes out of his way to find us when I have gone astray. He seeks me out, even when I am determined to ignore him. He always gathers me back into the fold, no matter how far I’ve strayed from him.
Communications Administrative Assistant
Prayer for Reflection
Lord, thank you for being our great shepherd. We wander away from you, turn our backs on you but you always seek us out and welcome us back into your arms.
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