Who will look after this ONE?
One child, among so many…..
There is a large flock that sits in an open field surrounded on all sides by an enemy. There are over 153 million in this flock. The enemy is a wolf and he comes in many different forms. There is only one way to keep these wolves from attacking the flock, one by one. We need all the shepherds we can get to stand between the flock and the wolves.
When a shepherd is present, the wolf is kept in check.
Since it is Christmas time, let’s take a quick look back at how the shepherds responded at the time of Jesus’ birth.
The Birth of Jesus (Luke 2:8-20 – NIV)8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
So, the shepherds went home. But, they returned much different than they had left. It’s kind of the same way that I returned home after my first mission trip, my first orphanage visit. Changed.
The shepherds would have never been changed like they were had they not encouraged one another to “go to Bethlehem to see this thing…which the Lord has told us about“. After they met the Savior, they immediately went and spread the word (a common occurrence with those who meet the Savior then and now).
Can I suggest several things to close out this blog as we turn our attention back to that one orphan?
Orphan care can be complex. It can be complicated. Sometimes messy. It seems it is ever-changing. Most church leaders know what the Lord has said about orphan care and that, too, can be complex when you think about all the other “programs” that a church has to lead. But, here’s my message to church leaders. Do what the shepherds did long ago – pastors/church leaders, encourage one another and then go investigate what the Lord is leading your church to do in your community and within your influence globally. We need spiritual shepherds who are willing to tell that flock of 153 million the great news of that first Christmas, even if it may seem terrifying at first.
We need family shepherds who will be willing to foster or adopt. We need advocates who will be willing to carry a strong staff and defend/speak out on behalf of orphans.
One child, among so many.
Can we really make a difference? I guess we’ll have to wait until 2014 to see how many shepherds we have surrounding the flock.
Calling all shepherds!
For the sake of church & child,Steve Gillis Founder | Exec. Director www.patchourplanet.org