Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Chosen Lamb--by Linden Malki

Once upon a time there was an adventurous lamb who didn't want to stay with his flock.  "My Daddy's the biggest, baddest ram in this whole flock, and I should be able to do what I want.  Hmmm--there's some interestng bushes over there that look good--wonder how they would taste?  Nobody even lets me try them!  My mum keeps telling ne to listen to the shepherd, pay attention to the dogs...I am so sick of those dogs! Look at those wild sheep up on the hillside--it looks like they're having fun--interesting places to climb!
I'm just gonna go look at those bushes---just gonna get a look, well, maybe a taste. Mm, that's interesting.  And look--there's a thin spot in the bushes that might be worth looking at....if I scootch way down, I bet I could wiggle through here and those nosy dogs won't even see me. This looks like an interesting path; wonder where it goes? It looks like water over there, but it doesn't look like any water I've ever seen before; it's all white and foamy. not smooth and clear. Oops, those are rocks and they're slippery; boy, was that close! What happened to the path? It looks like I can just reach that flat rock and get on my way! Uh-oh, my hoof just slithered right off that rock's stuck. I don't like this any more. Hey, are those the sheep dogs coming? No--those aren't dogs; they're bigger and scruffier and have big teeth. BAA! BAA! HELP!"

Meanwhile, back at the flock, the dogs were restless. Someone was missing! It's that one who always wants to do something different! The shepherd noticed that the dogs were looking for something. One of the mama sheep was looking anxious; not all of her lambs were following her. Then the shepherd heard a bleating noise outside the perimenter of the flock, and noticed a white spot on the hillside that was moving but not getting anywhere--and a couple of large ominous dark shapes where heading in its direction. The shepherd got a good grip on his staff, and found the thin spot in the bushes, pushed his way through, and ran for the white spot on the bank of the creek. The skulking not-dogs spotted the approaching shepherd, found the staff blocking the way to supper; time to look somewhere else. The shepherd bent down and carefully freed the stuck hoof, picked up the trembling lamb, and carried him back to the flock.                                                                                                    

The shepherd sighed. "You probably don't understand anything I'm saying, but I wish you could. You don't realize that your flock is special. Most sheep only live to grow wool, make milk, and eventually become the food that sustains people. But the best of the sheep, the perfect lambs (and I'm very pleased that your hoof didn't get hurt) become part of something important. All sheep--like every other creature--is destined to die. But the perfect lambs like you will give your lives as an offering to God. who created you as well as all of us. You will be part of an act of worship, where something of value--you--are given in thanksgiving, and in memory of a time when a lamb's blood saved the lives of the people who used to mark the houses of God's chosen people. And someday, a special Shepherd will give His lifeblood to sve all those who are part of His special Flock, those who follow Him. Your death--like that of the Good Shepherd--will come not from the wolves, but will be a symbol of the price paid for the sins of the world."

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