As we celebrated our Lord's shepherding the flock of faith here at Mt. Calvary for 25 years through the faithful and dedicated ministry of Pastor DeVries, we read from Ezekiel 34:
Consider these words:
"For thus says the LORD God: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.
I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong i will destroy. I will feed them in justice."
Sheep are prone to wander. Our own children, or spouse and many of our other neighbors, as sheep of the flock of faith, are prone to wander. And because you are also a sheep, you know all too well how easily this wandering occurs.
Our schedules keep us from reading or studying God's Word, or speaking with our heavenly Father in prayer. Our sinful flesh is lazy and doesn't want to spend time in God's Word, or more likely, doesn't like when the Word reveals this Old Adam who is still swimming through the flooding waters of Baptism.
We wander from the comfort of God's Word and His Sacraments, but because He is the Good Shepherd, because His heart burns with compassion for you, His sheep, because He has laid down His life and poured out His blood to be able to call you His sheep, He runs after you to fold you and all his wandering sheep back into the fold--back to the green pastures, where your cup runneth over.
Your wandering children, spouse, neighbor, and yes, even your wandering nature is gathered together because All of the sheep are God's Sheep--and the Good Shepherd seeks the lost, and brings back those who wander and stray.
Rescued by the Good Shepherd. Amen.