Tuesday, November 9, 2010

animal talk

Matthew 10:16 "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. 

We live in a society that is fixated on the economy.  It seems that the ups and downs of our financial picture have become the landscape that we see before us in the news, in our chats with friends and neighbors, and within our personal minds.  Wall Street is one of the most visible representations of the economy and every business day millions watch to see if the markets are "up" or "down".  We note the trends of up and down days and have decided to name them "bull" and "bear" markets.  These two animals are all over the business pages and even the front pages of our newspapers and many link their personal worth to their portfolio valuations as the bull and bear seem to charge ahead or tear down our savings.  Jesus also used animals as symbols for living.  Instead of bulls and bears, we hear of sheep and wolves.  As believers and followers of Jesus, we are the sheep and He is our shepherd.  We are sheep who live in the midst of wolves.  Interestingly, we are sheep on a mission (a difficult concept to visualize).  In Matthew, chapter 10, Jesus is preparing his disciples to go out and minister to another flock, the "lost sheep ofIsrael".  They have been empowered to cast out demons and heal the sick to show the reality of the Kingdom of Heaven in their midst.  They are to be sheep ministering to sheep, in the mist of wolves.  I believe that we are still sheep, ministering to sheep, today and we live in the midst of wolves.  Some of those wolves would have us think that our world is one centered on bulls and bears.  But we see that the real struggle is not in the economy, it is in the hearts of men, who are being sought by One who would take them upward and away from the one who would hold them back and take them down.  We begin to understand why we are sheep who need to be as wise as serpents, who do not harm...but rather help.
blessings, from one sheep to another,
Rob Smith

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