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June 11 | 1 Peter 2:22-25


 

DAILY READING


 

REFLECTION

 

Our Life As A Sheep

by Dan Kidd

 

It's unfortunate, I think, that naming someone a sheep has become a byword for being part of the gullible and deceived masses. Often someone will use the word sheep to mean that someone is part of the common crowd, brainwashed by some nefarious person, group, or idea. Nevermind that this is almost always an oversimple way of thinking about others, it also undermines an important and routine metaphor the Bible uses to positively, and perhaps even affectionately, describe God's people. We are, in so many meaningful ways, very much like sheep under the care and watchful eye of our Good Shepherd.


And, honestly, I understand the discomfort of thinking of oneself like a sheep. They are more fragile than lions, bears, or even sheepdogs. They aren't cunning like a fox, or wise like an owl, or as untethered or sprightly as a hummingbird. But, truth be told, I think we have a tendency to overestimate our strength, our cleverness and wisdom, and our independence. Sheep, at least the kind we hear of in Jesus' parables, are utterly dependent on their Shepherd. They rely on their shepherd to feed them, to clean and sheer them, to protect them, and to draw them back into the fold as often as they try to "escape" into the wild. And as much as we sometimes convince ourselves otherwise, if we depart from the care, provision, and protection of the Lord, we are bound for a bad things. It is a very good thing for us to remember our sheep-likeness.


As often as I sing these words, I well up with the honesty of them: "Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love." Though I do love our Lord, there remains a part of me (a part thankfully being put to death) that lures and distracts me away from him. But because the Lord is a Good Shepherd, with his rod and staff he keeps me close, or he comes out in search of me to bring me back home, draped over his shoulder. It isn't that I find myself astray and, of my own volition and internal sense of direction, find my way back to the pasture and my herd. It is the Shepherd who returns me to himself and my place at home.


Perhaps you can remember a time like this? A time you'd wandered away from your home—your place beside the Lord—when God sought you, found you, and brought you back again? Take a few moments now to remember that season. What was it like in the place you'd wandered to? How did the Lord meet you there and return you back? What was it like to be reunited with your Shepherd?


How good it is for us that we have a Christ who seeks and saves those, like us all, who are lost!


PRAYER


Lord, we thank you that in our sheep-likeness we can know you, our Good Shepherd. Thank you for loving us enough to pursue us, to return us to our home by your side, as often as you do this. If we are currently farther from you than we ought to be, give us ears to hear your voice. Allow our hearts to celebrate with you as often as others are returned home. Remind us again of the countless ways you love us, care for us, protect us, provide for us, and watch us.










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