Summary: A country/western version applied to Luke 15
It’s late spring; you’ve got the cattle all on good, tall, green grass. The rains have been good, the future looks bright.
Monday morning rolls around and its time to put out salt and mineral and see how everybody is doing. So you load up your feed, hook up to the trailer, and saddle up your old standby. (You know that special pony that’s been with you forever. The one you just about shot when he was a colt because he would spook at anything that would move, and now you brag about how anytime you go after a critter you don’t come home without him.)
It’s a nice drive to the pasture, the sun is bright and the air has that clean sweet smell. Like you can almost smell the spring season making the grass grow.
You get to the salt and mineral tubs, fill’em up, check the water and unload old Buck.
And you’re off on a nice quiet ride, on a beautiful day, just to look things over and get a good head count. Yes sir, everybody looks just like they ought to…..95, 96, 97, 98, 99,…...OK. First count is never right anyway,…95, 96, 97, 98, 99…….
You look up to the heavens, sigh and start looking. First you look at tag numbers and …. It’s her. The one who always has her head up when somebody goes by. The one who always gets her head between the wires to get to the ‘greener’ grass.
So then you hopefully look in all the little nooks and crannies thinking she just might still be in the pasture. No such luck. You start riding the fence line and sure as shooting you find the fence broke and tracks going out.
You look up to the sky. The sun is higher now, and it’s warming up nicely. Old Buck and it’s rider start searching.
A lot of riding and two hours later you’ve finally found her. Her head goes up and she literally gallops to the hole in the fence, leaps across and nonchalantly starts eating grass like nothing very important has happened.
As you’re fixing the fence you debate about selling that ol’rip… but doggone it, she’s always got a good calf at her side, she can be a really good producer, so…. She’s good for one more year.
It’s way past noon now. It’s hot. You and ol’ Buck are more than a little tired and yet you’re happy. Happy that you’ve found a lost critter. Happy about deciding to keep the cow. Happy about the fruits of your labor.
By now, you folks, good Lutherans that you are, can see that I have taken the liberty of “westernizing” the text of Luke 15:1-7, the parable of the lost sheep. I haven’t really snuck up on you with any great revelatory facts or, dazzled you with my biblical knowledge.
But I am going to ask you to bear with me for a few moments, use your imagination, and let our faith in Christ take us on a morning ride together.
First, let’s take a good look at that trouble making cow. No matter how tight, how high, how strong, the fence, she always seems to get out. Is the feed any better on the other side? No. In fact it’s more than likely to be better where she was in the first place. It’s also a good bet that she’s in a safer, more productive environment altogether. And yet she still keeps stretching the wires.
Isn’t that what we’re continually doing in our lives as we go on about our daily living. Our loving and caring God has put up a fence, called the Law. He has put up this fence so that we could safely live out our lives in peace and prosperity with Him. This fence of God’s was made for you and me and for keeping us close to Him, but we always seem to be looking for any number of ways to get around it, over it, under it, and through it.
That fence was made for someone else, not for me. I’m not hurting anything or anyone by being just a little bit across the fence. Those other wild ones over there, they’re the ones that really broke the fence. Guess what? Fence jumping is illegal. Whether you’re just across the line or clear over to the over side. That fence was made for everyone, it was made for you, it was made for me, just as it was made for that other feller way over there.
We know this for a fact, ask any of us here today and they can probably tell you all about God’s Law. And yet with all this knowledge we keep on straying over to see what’s on the other side, even when we know, WE KNOW, that it’s not good for us. And that it goes against what the Lord has told us what to do.