Sunday, January 18, 2009

The thing about Being a Sheep

Today, in church, our pastor talked about what is the church. I have to admit this was timely for me. It's something I've been pondering - just what is church for anyway. Do we really need each other for anyway? One of the pictures he presented from Scripture is that of the Shepherd and the Sheep.

I don't know a lot about sheep. Being raised just outside of Detroit, Michigan, I'm not exactly a country girl. In fact, when I first moved to my rural town, I had my new friends in stitches when I confused the word combine with columbine. As I said, not a country girl.

When I looked up the information on sheep, I expected to see things about how dumb sheep are as this is what I have always heard. Sheep can easily die of fright. Yell boo at a sheep and there is a possibility it will drop over dead. Sheep also follow each other, even if it means right off of a cliff. Sheep are often too dumb to come in out of the rain, literally.

One thing, though, stuck out to me. A lot of the behaviors we see in sheep that are "dumb" come from their inbred sense of the flock. While that sometimes leads them into trouble, the whole purpose of the sheep hanging out together in a flock is for their own safety. In a herd, sheep are a lot less vulnerable to predators. However, a lone sheep, by itself is an catch. Sheep can't defend themselves so their only hope is the herd and the shepherd. Boy, does that sound familiar.

While there are lots of issues in the church and it isn't perfect, our best bet is to be with the flock and to stick close to our Shepherd. I recently had a bad experience with church. It sort of soured me on the whole idea and I started to wonder what the point was exactly. It's interesting to me what God uses to speak into my life. In this case, it was a website from 4-H. Who knew God would teach this city girl and important lesson about His church on a 4-H website? Certainly not me! Maybe I'll turn into a country girl yet! :)

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