Jesus surveys the crowd, taking in every face, every precious life; the experiences, the fears, the doubts, the hidden things, the beauty, the worries, the hopes and aspirations. He’s been gathering stories all his life. Building up his library, countless tales of another world. Another life so different from the one they know. Everything is spiritual to him, anything can speak of God and his ways. Work, food, wine, children, family, friends, money, clothes, waiting, arguments, kindness, bandits, travel. He authored all the good things anyway, his breath fills the gaps in the atoms. His subtle fingerprints are there for the discovering. In the tales, in the things, in the people listening now.
And so he looks at them again, this unique gathering. His heart aches for them. A pain that has no adequate words. He selects his tale from the encyclopaedic collection in his head. Stories of life, of God’s voice speaking through the normal and the ordinary. There’s a lost look here. A people confused, distracted, tormented and torn by the agendas of others. Like. Lost. Sheep. And so he begins. In the kind of street language everyone can understand. There’s a farmer. With a hundred sheep. And one goes roaming, exploring, pushing the boundaries, wading through the swamps, tramping through minefields. Missing in action. Lost in life’s cruel hinterland. And so the shepherd has come looking, hunting high and low, risking all. Giving everything. Holding nothing back. For this precious sheep. For all the lost sheep. For these people. For all of us.