High River United Church of High River, Alberta

A Message to Connect - April 23, 2020

Holland and Scotland May 2013 164 2

A sheep near Pitlochry, Scotland - photo by David Robertson


Grace & Peace to you! 

David’s thoughts for today:

The parable of the lost sheep is the first in a trilogy of parables about—a sheep, a coin and a son.  But “lostness” is only half the story.  These parables are also, and much more importantly, about the joy of being found.  So, in a way, we should re-title this parable, “The joy of the found sheep!”  Joy bubbles to the surface not just because the sheep, coin or son are found. So much of the joy is expressed in being back together.  The relationship is re-established.  The reunion of seeker and found is filled with joy, comfort, rest and celebration that everything is okay and that which was lost is safe and at home.  The separation is restored to “togetherness”.


As I read this passage about the shepherd and sheep, I wondered… “Where do I locate myself in this parable?”.  It’s a good question for you, too.  Are we part of the 99?  Are we the one(s) lost? Are we the one who goes looking? Are we the one found? Do we see ourselves in all three?  Certainly, we are all experiencing the “lostness” of being separated, each in our houses, apart from those we love, and for the most part unable to be with them physically.  Like the lost sheep, it might feel like we fell into a hole and need “rescue”.  Or perhaps we feel concern for the one who is alone and go looking, even while physically distancing.  Or perhaps we take comfort in being part of the 99 who feel safe and cared for.  I bet we can find ourselves identifying with all aspects of the parable.


In one sense, I think we all want to be found and loved during these pandemic times.   The deep joy in this parable is the love of the shepherd for the sheep.  The deep joy rests in knowing that no matter our sense of lostness, God is seeking us out, going to all lengths—crazy obsessive lengths—to find us and love us more.  Even in our lostness, we are found!


I take comfort in the image of God hoisting us up and carrying us on those broad, loving shoulders.  Such great joy in being found.  Such great love in being held and carried.


With love and blessings,

Rev. David & Rev. Susan



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