Jesus loved His Church, His Bride, but Revelation reveals He saw the churches in a realistic light. He told John to write the good things, but He also addressed those areas that needed improvement.
Many churches seem to have forgotten that the sheep the shepherd sought was not a soul yet to be discovered. The lost sheep was once a part of the flock.
While churches are seeking to attract new members or minister to the community or the world, there are church members right outside the door who are lost, hungry and thirsty, and no longer have the strength or desire to return to the fold.
We must begin by remembering them. We must pray and ask God to bring to mind those with whom we have fellowshipped in the past and ask ourselves, “Where are they? What do they need from us right now?”
We must go to them, not try to entice them to come to us.
In the spirit of humility, we must honestly apologize for leaving them behind.
We must bind up their wounds.
We must be the servants God has called us to be.
We must connect on a personal level, getting to know where people live, physically and spiritually.
We have been on all sides. We have been the shepherd, the comfortable sheep of the flock and now sheep lost from our church and wondering why no one missed us.
We believe our own journey home begins with our repentance for leaving others behind. And then we must forgive those who have failed us. May we all join in prayer together.
Oh Lord, please forgive us for failing to seek your sheep.
We have become weary and laid down in green pastures.
We have become too comfortable in the security of our own group.
We have become distracted and not noticed the suffering of others that caused them to wander away and become lost and alone.
We have said we were a community when we had lost part of our community without even knowing it.
Forgive us, please, Lord. May we all hear Your Voice and come home to You. For we are the sheep of your pasture. We belong to You.
“Know that the Lord is God. It is He Who made us, and we are His; we are His People, the sheep of His Pasture.” Psalm 100:3
“My sheep listen to My Voice; I know them, and they follow Me.” John 10:27
…”that they may all be one, just as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.” John 17:21