I wonder how many there are? No I really wonder if you counted, “Would the numbers be staggering?” I’m talking about scattered “sheep.” Those who wanted to be a part of a vibrant and thriving Church, but for one sad reason or more took the back door, left the Church. Said a sad and brokenhearted, “Adios.”
I wonder if the Church is aware… or are they simply clueless?
(Do they even care?)
I saw a man come into the service one winter Sunday. Clothes rather shabby and more than a little soiled, no coat, hair long; matted. He sat on the end of the row, across the aisle. I watched to see what would happen. There had just been a sermon series about “loving others and reaching out” to the community. I wondered, “Would anyone actually reach out this man?” Had any of those high-sounding-sermons made the slightest difference?
No one approached. No one came near him. He left just as he had come, alone.
I thought, “So this is what you call loving outreach?”
Isn’t it tragic that such a large group of people who say LOVE is their highest aim, are so rude and ungracious, and dare I say it? Just downright, mean at times.
(Don’t they get it?)
I want to ask them: Do you think people don’t feel your rejection? Your condemnation? Do you actually believe that your haughty looks, and cold shoulders, don’t matter?
(Not to mention the really mean things I often hear said.)
I’m just one sheep. And I know, I’m probably going to get plenty of flack from Christians for saying these things, but I suppose that’s the point. Isn’t it?
I’m just weary of it. I’m a sheep, too, but doggone it. I don’t want to sit in a room full of people anymore with that mean-spirited “clubhouse” mentality!
(You know the one I mean.)
“Us four… and no more!”
The Super-Saints who regularly meet to show all the other lowly mortals and disgusting sinners, The So-Called-Soiled Outcasts or Lepers, just how super-undesireable, unloved, and unwelcome they are.
Dear Lord, please save us from the Super-Pious who say they are Lovers of Jesus, but who are so obviously Haters of those they consider “the great unwashed.” People who for one reason or another, fail to come up to their moral highground of superior faith and “genuine” Christ-likeness.
And you think you are going to evangelize the world?
With your loveless ultra-superior stony-stares of disapproving-disapproval?
Is that your idea of the kind of love the bible speaks about?
No wonder people are taking the back door of our churches in record numbers!
Why would they not?
“Are we really so clueless?”
(Or, …is the truth a whole lot uglier.)
Those to whom you turn up your noses? The despised? Are people Jesus laid down His life for, too. The scattered. The unwanted. The ignored. The broken. The messy ones.
(You know, the ones you are so disgusted by?)
Scattered sheep matter to God!
You may turn your backs… but my bible says God will not.
…”Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them… For the LORD God says: I will search and find My sheep. I will be like a shepherd looking for his flock. I will find My sheep and rescue them from all the places they were scattered…”
Ezekiel 34:2-6, 11 NKJV