When I was growing up, this picture hung on my grandmother’s wall. I remember studying it as a child, absorbing the story that it tells. The helpless lamb. The faithful shepherd dog calling for help. The vultures in the background just waiting for the dog to give up and trot away to the warmth of home.
The other day as I was cleaning out a closet, I came across that very picture—I had forgotten that I had it. I studied it again, and all the same feelings washed over me, but now even more. This dog has only limited ability to help the lamb himself, but he’s trusting that the shepherd will come and complete the rescue.
We, the Church, are the shepherd dog. We are commissioned to guard and protect helpless and endangered souls. And as we do, we call on the Shepherd to come and complete the Rescue. He is the only one who can do so, and when He comes and takes the lamb on His shoulders and says to his friends, “Rejoice with Me, because I have found My sheep that was lost!” we will be there, rejoicing with Him.
This, my friends, is Christianity. It is a beautiful thing.