Scripture: Matthew 18:10-20
Key verse: (14) “So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.”
Reflection: Several years ago I was given a wonderful book called While Shepherds Watch Their Flocks by Timothy Laniak. It is a book of 40 reflections on biblical leadership. Dr. Laniak traveled with a group of Bedouin shepherds for a year to learn about the life of shepherds in the Middle East. Since sheep and shepherds are frequently used imagery in the Bible, he wanted to better understand the life and role of a shepherd. He discovered many things, too many for today’s devotion, but one powerful discovery was the incredible love and care good shepherds give their sheep and how a lost sheep was a big deal. Shepherds notice when even one sheep is missing and will be very diligent searching for it. The parable of the lost sheep tucked away in today’s long text reminds us that a shepherd will search for the one that has gone astray, for the one that has wandered off and may be lost and afraid. God wants us to know that we can depend on God for protection and care. God notices when we struggle, when we hurt, when we disappear or feel lost and will never stop searching for us. What incredible love God has for each of us! We are God’s “little ones” – precious as children. Knowing this, how will God’s great love for you affect the choices you make today and the way you have chosen to live your life?
Prayer: Loving God, we give thanks that like a shepherd you care for us and notice when we are lost. We give thanks that instead of leaving us to our own devices, you continually seek us. For your abiding presence we thank you, this day and every day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].