Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Sheep among Wolves
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves." Matthew 10:16
One of the things I am not terribly good at is politics. I think no one should have hidden agendas and we should talk openly and honestly with one another. Sometimes that gets me in trouble. People want to manipulate a system for gain and I will have no part of it. I don't make friends in high places because of that.
Jesus sends his disciples out and tells them they are like sheep among wolves. They are food to wolves. Sheep are not the brightest animals in God's kingdom. Nor are they the prettiest or most sacred. For people in the region where Jesus was speaking, they were an important staple of life, so prized highly and guarded well. So, Jesus sends his beloved disciples out and warms them to be careful. He knows the world wants to devour them. He knows some people will want to ridicule them and catch them in a lie, or a misstep. Some will play childish games with the disciples' faithfulness. They are to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. It is hard not to be jaded when being like the serpents. Innocence and compassion often go by the wayside.
Today, I want to spend time renewing my dove-like qualities. It is too easy for me to be only wise and careful after experiencing the wolves in this world. It is harder to be open, loving and trusting. And it is where God is calling us today. To innocence, trust and love. So I pray that we all take a great chance and renew our innocence and compassion. Our world, so broken by political cruelty needs the tenderness that doves and sheep can provide.