Page 12 - advent2012v2

Basic HTML Version

Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent
1 Isaiah 35:1-10,
Ps 85:9ab and 10, 11-12, 13-14,
Luke 5:17-26
Jesus asks his disciples ˈWhat shepherd, caring for 100 sheep, would not leave
99 of them to go in search of one which has gone astray?ˉ He then goes on to
tell his listeners that our God does not want to lose even one of His ˈsheepˉ and
that there would be more rejoicing in heaven over the return of one stray sheep
than the 99 who never strayed.
Several years ago while camping in Grand Junction, CO I hiked up to one of the
ubiquitous dinosaur dig sites in that area. The location itself was well worth the
hike, beautiful mountains surrounding lush open meadows, just perfect, appar-
ently, for raising sheep. The highway ran parallel to the hill I was sitting on, a few
hundred feet below it. From the top of the hill I watched as a couple of shep-
herds and their herding dogs attempted to move a flock (~150 to 200 sheep)
across the highway.
We were witness to an amazing feat of true pastoral ˈpersuasionˉ.
I ended up sitting there for well over an hour watching and laughing as those
wretched shepherds attempted to get the entire flock of sheep across the road
safely. Each time it appeared that the task had been successfully completed an
errant sheep would soon be followed by another, then another and another, until
what had seemed like a done deal had been completely unraveled and all of the
sheep were now back on the other side of the highway.
It strikes me as I read this gospel, that perhaps
there really is no such thing as going after just
one lost sheep, because one lost sheep means
the loss of an entire flock. And I think Jesus of-
ten shares these stories or parables with his
tongue firmly planted in his cheek. He knows,