This week the Lenten reader pointed us to the story of the lost sheep where Jesus leaves the 99 in the open country to go after the one lost sheep. But Jesus doesn’t really leave us, per se, to go after the one. He is always with us, not forsaking us because he has left us to be the church to one another, while he seeks the lost.

We know neighborhood groups are doing an amazing job of holding each other up and we are working on huddling together whether online or group chats, praying God’s word over each other.

Brooke Luther, our director of Neighborhood Initiatives, had this amazing insight from this passage that I wanted to share with you. She said, “Look at the rest of the parable. When Jesus finds the lost one, He joyfully puts it on His shoulders and returns home.  He then calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me, I have found my lost sheep.  I tell you there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one lost sheep who repents than the 99 who already are righteous in his covering.’ “

Brooke goes on to say: “But imagine if Jesus didn’t have the 99 to come back to and say ‘Rejoice, with me!’  What if they had scattered?  How devastating that would be!”

It is more important now than ever that we  DO NOT SCATTER!

You are the 99 huddled together (online) and you are being the church! This is an incredible gift from God for us right now and we need to be excellent stewards of it.  You, the people gathered, are the church.

To paraphrase Acts 2: “Continue meeting online. Continue chatting daily.  It is the most important work to be checking on one another, caring for each other and pouring God’s word over those entrusted to each other. No one expects you to solve the problems at hand, but you can point to the one who can.”

Gather the people, tell the stories, change the world. There is no doubt we are doing that and we will see the fruit in our world because of your faithfulness. The stories are already being told.

Hang in there…rejoicing is imminent!