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Scripture Reference: Matthew 9:35-38
I’ve never been a farmer or a herdsman. I’ve worked in a small garden, and I used to spend summers with my Uncle and Aunt on their farm with chickens and cows. But, let’s face it, I don’t know a lot about the day-to-day goings on of your average sheep. You probably don’t either.
Yet, when Jesus, in Matthew 9:35-38, says he had compassion on the crowds, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd, I have no problem visualizing what he is talking about. I can see a herd of sheep being scattered by the winds and rain, by wolves nipping at their heels, by vultures taking their lambs. They run to and fro seeking anything that will take away the bad things.
Now, look around. Look at your friends, your coworkers, your neighbors, and your relatives. Do you see it? Do you see the way the fill their schedules with anything that might distract them from the realities of this life? Funerals and Hospitals and other such things are to be avoided at any cost. Turn off the news and stay away from controversy. They turn their eyes away from the homeless man on the corner and keep your kids from hanging around ‘those kids’ that might affect them. They stay away from anything painful or difficult and keep themselves immersed in a world of entertainment and busy-ness. Why? Because, if they stop for even a second, they might actually see the dangers and realities of the world out their. They might have to question their mortality. They might just have to question the condition of their lives and the choices that they’ve made. This is often why they stay away from church. They often claim that Christians are judgmental, when it is really that they are afraid of their own conviction and the urging of God.
Harrassed & Helpless, they stay on this path of silent pain and hectic numbness which keeps them from God.
That’s why we are all called to bring the good news of Christ to the world. It’s not just the job of one or two pastors, but the job of every Christian to share with those around them.
Remember the old 70s television show, M.A.S.H.? That’s what we must be like. We are called to be medics who go out into the battleground of the world and bring the wounded back for healing. Church is a hospital for the sick and hurt. It is a place to get revitalized and then sent out to rescue others.
Take this challenge. Go and share your story with your friends, relatives, neighbors, and coworkers. Don’t be a jerk, don’t be obnoxious, and don’t be fake. Be yourself and listen to them and then share your hope with them. Pray for them. It matters, and it is what we are called to.
Pay attention and you’ll see that the people you care about are out there on the battlefield, they are wounded and crying out for help. Have the courage to brave the fire and you could save someone.