April 26, 2023: A Sheep Astray

Reading: 1 Peter 2:19-25

For it is a credit to you if, being aware of God, you endure pain while suffering unjustly. If you endure when you are beaten for doing wrong, what credit is that? But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God’s approval. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.



I’ve been staring at these verses for hours now. It’s Sunday afternoon and this First Light is to be posted Wednesday. The coordinator just sent an email asking when I might have it done for uploading. Ack! I honestly replied I’m stuck as most of the text is about suffering and I really only like the bit about sheep at the end. I just don’t know what to write.

I’ve already taken a break for lunch, did a crossword puzzle, searched the cupboards for chocolate, sent a few texts, sat back down at my computer and, “Oh, look! New email!” Definitely going astray, here. Like a sheep. Come to think of it.

Then I noticed I was a bit chilly and almost curled up on the sofa under a blanket for nap but, instead, I went upstairs to get a sweatshirt. And which one was on top of the pile? My Camp Mount Luther I Just Want to be a Sheep!!! sweatshirt. I kid you not. I cannot make these things up.

So, I think the best I can do today with this text is admit I obviously go astray. We all do. Like sheep. And we are led back. Returned to the shepherd. Guarded. I just want to be a sheep. Come to Camp Mount Luther this summer and we will even get to sing the song. (“Baaa”)

–Ruth Gates



I pray the Lord my soul to keep. I just want to be a sheep.