Reading: Ezekiel 34: 11-16
Verse 11: “I will search for my sheep and look after them”.
Our relationship with God is a two-way street. We are created by God with a spark of God inside each of us as we are created in His image. From birth God reveals Himself to us through the world and through the people in our lives. As we grow and mature, we begin to sense our need for something more in life, for God. If one chooses a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, then this need is filled with faith and with God. some folks choose to try and fill the God-hole in their life with many other things, none of which ever satisfy, all leaving them searching.
Once we choose God over the things of this world, then we begin to seek more of God. Our journey of faith becomes one of continual learning and growth. We always seek to know Him more deeply, more intimately. We spend time in His word, time in prayer, time in worship, and time in fellowship with other believers. This all deepens and strengthens our faith and our relationship with Jesus, enriching our lives and bringing us His joy, love, peace, and hope. In turn, God eventually calls us to go forth and share all of this love, hope, joy, and peace with others.
God also pursues us. God desires to be in a relationship with all people. This is what today’s Psalm is all about. Verse eleven begins with these words, “I will search for my sheep and look after them”. Jesus, our good shepherd, desires to search for, find, bring in, and care for all the sheep. The psalmist goes on to explain how, writing, “I will rescue them from all the places where they have been scattered”. This speaks both of us during those days or seasons when we have wandered and also of those who have chosen the wide path of the world. He seeks to call all people to Himself. Once the call is heard, Jesus will “bring them back into their own land”. He will connect us into communities of faith where we find encouragement, support, learning, unity, fellowship, a sense of belonging.
Our passage today ends with words of healing and restoration: “I will search for the lost and the strays. I will bind up the inured and strengthen the weak”. Jesus searches for and seeks out all, both the sinners and the saints. Thanks be to God that Jesus has found you and me. Thanks be to God that He always calls our name. Thanks be to God that Jesus continues to search for the least and the lost. Thanks be to God that Jesus seeks to bring them healing and restoration and to bring them into the family of God. Thank you Jesus for your love.