Lessons of the Lamb
May 1, 2018
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Many of us had the privilege and the thrill of having a l0 day-old lamb, named Stephanie, visit with us last Sunday during worship. Constance (her shepherd) taught us about what some of the responsibilities are for a good shepherd to keep a lamb, and a flock, safe.
For example, a shepherd will lead the flock to still waters since rough waters would frightened the easily startled sheep.
I loved watching the way Stephanie followed Constance wherever she went,
how the lamb knew Constance’s voice, and how Constance knows all her sheep by name.
Constance told us that Stephanie laid across her lap as she drove to church that morning. She could feel the lamb’s heart beating fast under her hand because Stephanie didn’t know where she was going.
Isn’t that the way it is with us too? We don’t know, we are fearful, we frighten easily…. but we know that Christ is our Good Shepherd.
But the lesson of the shepherd that struck me the most, and the one I invite us all to contemplate, is this: the lamb has to follow the shepherd so that it doesn’t get lost. If the lamb gets lost it becomes easy prey for its enemies. Sheep have many enemies: coyote, fox, bear, and bobcat, to name a few.
Scripture tells us that the Good Shepherd will leave the flock in order to find one lost sheep. I hear that lesson as a warning to us all—when we stop following, when we wander off, yes the Good Shepherd will come after us, but we are vulnerable to all kinds of enemies. When we break fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ, when we decide to no longer go to church, or participate in the life of the faith community, when we do not have others by our side, we are vulnerable!
So let the lessons of the lamb lead us ever deeper into community life, knowing we are stronger together than apart, that we help to keep one another safe from enemies like apathy, complacency, doubt, and self-absorption.
The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell[a] in the house of the Lord
In His Name,