Who are we?
Think of the parable of the lost sheep in Luke. Have you ever considered who you are in this story? Who God is calling us to be? Who Jesus is pointing out we are like?
Are you the lost sheep? Are you hidden, lost, without hope? Do you wander around, not even considering that the shepherd is looking for you or, in fact, even notices you are missing? Are you, or have you been, the lost sheep, found at last by the shepherd? Have you experienced the amazing wonder in being found, gathered in? Have you had the heartbreaking experience of finally understanding the amazing love of the shepherd, in one moment of intense flood of understanding, when you are found?
Are you one of the 99 sheep? Do you wonder why the shepherd has seemingly left you to go find someone else, when you have obeyed all the rules and stand impatiently as part of the "good" herd? Have you experienced the fear of having the one lost sheep return, dirty and not even remorseful for having wandered away? Do you secretly (or not so secretly) hate the fact that the lost sheep is able to return, even though it wandered away of its own accord? Do you resent the idea that the "not lost" sheep are expected to celebrate the return of the one who sinned? Do you think that lost sheep who has returned should be made to understand just how distruptive its actions have been? Are you certain it will just run away again?
Or do you feel the pain of the shepherd? Do you feel the call to look for the lost shepherd and the weight of the responsibility to maintain the security of the 99 at the same time? Do you fear searching for the one who has been lost - going into the wilderness where the one has gone? Do you resent the actions of the lost sheep, wishing it had just done what it should have been doing, and stayed with the other 99?
Who are we? I think we are all three of them at different times of our lives, or perhaps at the same time.