So he told them this parable: 4 "Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? 5 When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.'
Dear Oak Grove Friends,
This past week, the Six Things We Know About God class was asked to think about things or people we have lost from our lives and to what extremes might we go in order to get them back. I was reminded that about a year ago, I lost a pendant from a necklace that held a great deal of meaning for me. I noticed the necklace hanging and the pendant gone at my third stop for the day. I quickly called the establishments I had visited and checked the parking lot around my car. Alas, no one had seen my pendant. Next, I called the gift shop where I had purchased it 6 years ago only to learn the gift shop was out of business. So I gave up on finding my pendant. Then a few weeks ago, a Facebook post reminded me that Ten Thousand Villages, the distributor for this pendant, has a website. I searched the website, but to no avail. I even filled out the Contact Us form asking if they still had access to the person who made the pendant. The woman who received my message understood my desire to have a pendant like mine back in my life, so she checked their stock and a few of the stores that carry their items. Still no luck. A great deal of effort has gone into reviving the joy this particular pendant brought me. It still grieves me some that I no longer have it.
I asked the class if we could imagine God going to this much trouble to bring us back into relationship. Most of us couldn’t, but the truth is God seeks us with far greater effort, energy and desire than we seek anything in this life. It grieves God when we step away from or distance ourselves from God.
As I pondered this, I began to think about folks we have been missing in church lately. I asked myself, “Am I giving the same effort to reaching out to these folks as I gave the pendant search?” Perhaps not. So if you’ve missed a couple of Sundays or more, expect some form of contact from me this week. You are missed. We are grieved that you haven’t been among us to worship the God who loves us and who goes after us when we have slipped away from the flock.
If you have been in church lately, I hope you will reach out to those we’ve been missing as well.
Looking forward to seeing you ALL next Sunday!