Daily Dose, Oct. 28 — Church: Why Bother?

  I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. (John 10:14-16) A good shepherd wants ALL of the sheep to return to the pen at night. It’s not enough to get most of them. The shepherd simply isn’t content if some are left to wander the hills, exposed to the dangers that await them. Christ is our good shepherd, but he is not just ours and ours alone. He is the shepherd to the whole world. And his work is not complete until ALL of his sheep are brought into the safety and sanctuary of his love and care. We pass by people every day who have not yet experienced that safety and security. They don’t yet know the love of the good shepherd. As long as that is the case, they are wandering on the hillsides. They are exposed to the snares and dangers of temptation in a way that those inside the safety of the sheep pen are not. And the wolf is constantly lurking. Why bother sharing our faith with others? Why bother inviting people to church? You and I are not the shepherd…but we work for him. We’re supposed to be his apprentices, always learning and always striving to emulate the master’s ways. The Master says that he goes after his sheep…even the ones who aren’t yet part of the flock. ALL of those sheep matter to the Master, and they should matter to us as well. Today, what sheep will you cross paths with that need to know safety, hope, love, and forgiveness? And will you offer to show them to the sheep pen, to invite them to the sanctuary within the flock? -- Rev. Brad Greene