Lenten Devotion for Monday, March 24

By Krissa Rumsey

Read John 10: 11 – 18

I’m sure every parent has had a moment when they’ve lost sight of their child in a busy place and suddenly every unthinkable scenario plays out in their mind in the frantic search for them. I remember vividly losing my oldest child when she was three in our local Kroger.

And even though this Kroger was in the small town of Milan, and a child abduction has never occurred there as far as I know, terror crept in at each passing second that I couldn’t find her. I’m not sure what I thought could possibly happen in the 60 seconds before I found her behind the end cap of the cereal aisle, but they were terrifying seconds.

And as I searched, my first and repeated course of action was to call out her name, “Ella!”

I think about this reaction when I read about shepherds and their relationship to their flock. I don’t  know how large the typical flock of sheep was in Jesus’ day, but I have read they could number in the thousands, and if not that, certainly the hundreds.

Given that, it seems likely that a shepherd could be easily persuaded to allow one or two sheep to fall prey to a hungry wolf or other predator, rather than risk his life to save it.

Remembering, though, that shepherds often had names for each of their sheep and spent every waking hour with them (and every other hour since shepherds might occupy the same space with them while sleeping), it makes sense that the good shepherds would have developed an affinity for every single sheep in their flock—perhaps an affinity similar to that of a parent and child— and would stop at nothing to keep them safe.

Jesus says He is this good shepherd. He calls His sheep by name (insert your name here “________”). He not only searches for us when we’re lost, but actually puts His life on the line to save us from the predator. As much as shepherds in Jesus’ day loved the sheep in their flock and as much as parents love their children, Christ’s love for us is so much more.

We pray: Thank You, Jesus, for being our shepherd who is willing to sacrifice His life for my life. You search for me and pick me up and carry me when I wander. Thank you for loving me even more than my parents do!

Family discussion

Can you remember a time when you were lost? What did that feel like? Who found you? Or maybe you can remember a time when you lost something? What did that feel like? Did you search until you found it? How did you feel when you found the lost thing?

Everyday object

Hide something of importance (maybe your keys, a phone, a wallet, a book, a child, the Bible) and have the family search and look for it. Talk about the process of searching and finding the lost thing.