“As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day.” (Ezekiel 34:12)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. We need a shepherd. We wander around and get lost and hurt. Sheep wander off. They get caught in thickets. They get snatched by wolves. They get stuck between rocks. They wander off and can’t find food or water. So the shepherd’s job is to go find them.
We wander off. We get stuck in some sin over and over. We skip church once and then again and it’s easier and easier to do. We have the guilt of some sin nagging us over and over. The devil whispers that we have fallen from the faith and are no longer God’s children. We find ourselves living that kind of religion where we make deals with God and try to make up for our bad by doing good. We need the Shepherd to rescue us!
And He does. And the Lord doesn’t just send someone else to do His work. He comes Himself to do it. The Lord becomes man, born of Mary, to seek and to save the lost. He does that be laying down His life for the sheep on the cross, rising again on the third day and sending His preachers out into the world. When that Word of Good News is preached, the Spirit turns our hearts from death to life, from unbelief to faith. In that way, Jesus has found us and brought us into His fold, His church, His family.
The great thing about the Lord’s salvation is that He doesn’t leave it to us! He does it! The Son of God Himself suffers for our sins and conquers death by His resurrection. Then He makes sure we are washed at the font by our pastors, absolved, and fed with His own Body and Blood. The Lord really does rescue us Himself and gives us all that we need for eternal life.
All the world’s religions have prophets and teachers that will lay out how you have to save yourself. But the truth is we are lost in our sins and could never save ourselves. So Christ Himself comes and saves us. And if God Himself saves you, you know it’s done right! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Perverse and foolish oft I strayed, But yet in love He sought me And on His shoulder gently laid And home rejoicing brought me. (The King of Love My Shepherd Is, LSB 709:3)