Today, the Gospel reading was the parable of the lost sheep. Of course, it is also the parable of the 99 left behind. Poor sheep. Either lost of left.
Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it?
Or maybe there is another way to see it.
Sheep are meant to be in flocks, not alone. When one goes wandering, it needs finding and a shepherd will go looking. But a lost sheep isn’t home until it is back with its flock. Back with the 99 who stayed. They weren’t left, they were being the flock so the lost one would know where home was.
I was with my flock today. My tribe, my peeps. I hope if I ever go wandering, I’ll know I am found when I am back with them again. And I also hope when anyone else wanders in, they will know they are home. No matter which sheep you are in this tale, you are essential to the whole, made to be with your flock, your tribe, your community. It’s not the same without you.