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Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent December 11, 2018

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 18:12-14

12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.

REFLECTIONS: "In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish."

What do we learn from the lesson of Jesus' parable about the lost sheep? That God loves us with an everlasting love and He will do anything to bring us back to Him, to snatch us away from the grips of evil without taking away our free will. He gave us His only Son to accomplish just that. He is, many times, described as a Good Shepherd, because all good shepherds have a love for their flock and will lay down their lives for the one lost sheep.

Ask any parent, young or old, and you will hear "Godwink" moments of when their child lost their bearings or were hopelessly adrift in a sea of bad decisions, bad friends, and bad consequences. Perhaps that is why grandmas pray so much for their family and loved ones. We understand that no child of God should ever lose their battle here on earth.

Sammy was a restless child and eventually became a restless adult. He made so many poor decisions that it was hard to know where to put up the "cannons on the battlefield". He left for Vegas to find his dream in the gambling casinos. His car decided otherwise. It died in Tucson, Arizona and he had to live in it and finally he had to sell it because it needed to be towed away. He found himself homeless, phoneless, penniless and estranged from his family. He, unfortunately, was too prideful that he refused to call for help.

What was God to do with him? He nudged his praying parents to call here and there and to fly here and there and finally one day while searching for him in the streets of downtown Houston they found him. He was drinking from a water fountain just when the parents stopped at a red light at that same corner. And like a good father, his parents took him back, cleaned him up and set him straight. You see, God knows everything and He knows where you are and knows where you have been and sees you sinning and delights when you are good.

Satan loves the discord, the disruption, the disorientation, the disorder, the displeasures, the disturbances and the discombobulations of life. I love "God wink" moments when you can see the path that God has taken you and you can see how He never gave up on you. It is much easier to be always in prayer mode so that when that storm hits us unexpectedly and we have lost our bearings, our orientation, our purpose in life, or our children we can always rely on our connection with God. God wants to carry us in His bosom so we will not fall out or wiggle our way out of his grasp.

"Pray to him, and he will hear you." Job 22:27

"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want." Psalm 23:1

Samuel now writes worship music in your honor. Thank you, God.

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