Yesterday for our sermon we talked about how sheep are quite helpless creatures. They tend to follow a leader and don’t always act out of intelligence. One of the deeper points of Jesus’ parable of the lost sheep is that we usually go astray and feel helpless. The good news is that God is always looking to find us.
One of the most memorable stories I’ve ever heard about sheep has to do with one from New Zealand back in 2004. (I didn’t use this as an example yesterday as a sermon illustration because words don’t do this story justice–you need to see pictures!).
Meet Shrek the sheep. Perhaps you heard this news story when it broke many years ago. Shrek gained international fame when he was discovered in rural New Zealand. They didn’t actually think he was a sheep at first, considering how ridiculously thick his wool was! Shrek had run away from his shepherds for about 6 years by hiding in caves. After catching this rebellious sheep, the farm owners shaved off 60 pounds of wool… enough to make nearly a couple dozen suits!
The bible often uses metaphors and symbolism to explore our relationship with God. In the case of the parable of the lost sheep and Psalm 23, God teaches us that we are exactly like sheep. Without God’s help, we aren’t that smart. We are actually in danger if we fail to pursue God.
Shrek the sheep’s story provides a bit of comical insight into our faith…
- We aren’t just helpless creatures as humans… we are often rebellious! We tend to run away from the guidance of our good shepherd.
- It is often the case that when God feels distant from us, it is we who are hiding instead of God.
- Without God’s help and protection, our life becomes an absolute mess. Sure, we might think we can survive without God, but we end up in a dark place without that divine relationship.