The Lost Sheep
10-11 Don't be cruel to any of these little ones! I promise you their angels are always with my Father in heaven. 12Let me ask you this. What would you do if you had 100 sheep and one of them wandered off? Wouldn't you leave the 99 on the hillside and go look for the one that had wandered away? 13I am sure that finding it would make you happier than having the 99 that never wandered off. 14That's how it is with your Father in heaven. He doesn't want any of these little ones to be lost.
I suspect that for most of us, being cruel brings to mind aggressive, perhaps even violent acts. We think of cruelty as being assertive. But here Jesus links being cruel not with what we do to others, but by what we fail to do for them. Cruelty is associated with the apathy that would fail to look for a lost sheep. It is cruel to be passively content with ninety-nine knowing that one has gone missing. It is cruel to ignore the one who is overlooked, marginalized and left to fend for themselves.
Canadian society teaches us to mind our own business, to butt out and not get involved. Canadians are peace keepers not aggressors. We are a polite society that prefers to keep to ourselves. But Jesus’ words call us to act, to get involved, to make the one who is lost, the person who has wandered to the fringes of society, our personal concern. In fact, to fail to do so is cruel.
This call to action and getting involved carries with it the potential of great hope; “… finding it would make you happier …” Greater joy, added blessing, more happiness. It seems that the difference between our acting and sitting back is as great as the difference between cruelty and happiness! Today choose that happier path of getting involved.
Living God, You are the God who came to seek and rescue us. May we mirror you by getting involved to help others to find their way back to you. We pray this so that none will be harmed through our neglect. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.