Week 26 Sunday

The One and the Ninety-Nine

Today’s scripture selection: Luke 15-16

Key Verses: Luke 15:4-7

     It was only one little sheep.  For some, it was no big deal.  Let it wander off – there are still ninety-nine left.  Such was the attitude of the lazy shepherd in Jesus’ day.

     But then there was the good shepherd; the shepherd who worried over each one.  To that shepherd, should even one small sheep wander off – there was nothing more important than finding it and bringing it back into the fold; back home.

     And so Jesus could use this simple story to illustrate how God feels about His people – those safe and secure – and those who have somehow wandered off into dangerous territory.

     What did the Lord say happened when that one lost sheep was found?  Simple – it was time for a great party.  And so it is in the life of faith.

     We all wander off now and then.  We

  • Think we know better or
  • We get bored or
  • We think the grass is a little more tasty over “there”
  • We want a little adventure or
  • We resent having to always follow the Good Shepherd’s guidelines

There are a thousand reasons why and how we can get “lost.”

But, each time – God goes searching – God goes calling – God goes rescuing His lost.

Of course there is one big difference between that little lost sheep and us.  We have a choice whether or not to be carried home to the flock.

Prayer: Father, thank you for always seeking me with your love.  And should I wander off, thank you for your amazing grace that brings me home.  AMEN.


By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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