Bring back the strayed
Ezekiel 34: 11-16
“‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.
It’s easy to ignore others, It’s easy to drop people, to neglect to make contact or follow up on someone who hasn’t been around for a while, those who have strayed away.
You call us to ‘bring back’,
Help me, and your church, to get back alongside, to walk with them in their life and sharing mine,
give me time and patience,
give me grace and love for them that is sincere and genuine.
May I lead gently by the hand that they might return to you their first love.
[pause and wait in God’s presence]
Renew us by your Holy Spirit,
that I may lay down my life for you and for my neighbour
and proclaim your love
through Jesus Christ, the good Shepherd. Amen.
written by Fyfe Blair