Friday, July 12, 2019

The One Lost Sheep

Luke 15:3-7 "Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent."
I have heard it said in the Church recently that too much is being done for the young people, and not enough is being done for the older folk.
Churches are upgrading and modernising with new technology, new music and new ideas. This is great news for the older Church member who prefers a more traditional service...and I will tell you why!
We have all heard the Parable of the Lost Sheep, most of us since we were children. So how are so many of us missing the point of the story?
Older and more experienced Christians are generally quite sturdy in their faith. They have a lifetime of testimonies and experiences to strengthen them. They still need fuel for their fire, of course, though they do not need convincing and evangelising (generally!).
These people are like the 99 righteous people.
Luke 5:32 says  "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
The one lost sheep is like a younger Christian, younger in age or perhaps younger in their faith. Perhaps a person with no faith at all.
The 99 can stand together and be secure in the open field whilst the Shepherd chases down the 1, and when the 1 is brought back to the flock, it will be the flock who influence and encourage the 1 so that it does not stray again. The 1 will follow the flock.
It is the honour and the privalige of the more experienced and knowledgable of us to do as God told us and support and mentor the inexperienced and unenlightened.
Through traditional services we sing, we praise God  and we pray for the same things as in the modern services...for His Kingdom to come and for His will to be done. We pray for change and revival, we promise to go out into the world and make disciples of the people.
Those who have a strong faith do not need to be convinced of the existence of God, but can help testify to the faithless.
Those who already walk with Jesus can help to guide others to him.
That's not to say that the older church members are not important...they are extremely instrumental in God's plan! He gave us the job of spreading the Good News of Jesus, and in spreading that news we bring others to Him.
Surely we can all agree that the fact that there are more and more younger people coming to faith and coming to the church means that we are doing an amazing job!
By nature I am an old soul, though as a "millennial" I understand today's attitude of the young people to live life to its fullest...YOLO! You only live once. If it's not fun then don't waste time on it.
We as Christian's need to reach out to these young people and entice them with fun...before we drop the bombshell that through Jesus they can actually have eternal life! YOLF! You only live forever!
Through having fun and engaging with the younger generations, through involving them in church life and through events and modern Worship music, we will bring these people to Jesus and that is our only goal. That is our purpose. To bring others to Him.
We can learn from each other and have meaningful friendships across the divides of age, and eventually that one sheep will become one of the flock, ready to stand with the others while the shepherd chases down another wayward sheep. And so it goes on as it has done for generations as our Church continues to grow.
Luke 14:23 "And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled."

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