NEEDED: EVERY SINGLE ONE

 

“I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick”.

(Ezek. 34: 16).

Cover Article

NEEDED: EVERY SINGLE ONE

From the June 2007 issue of The Christian Science Journal

 MY RELIGION PROFESSOR’S THOUGHT-PROVOKING perspective on Jesus’ parable of the lost sheep made me think. I had to ask myself: Which one experiences the greater deficiency—one lost sheep or the flock that has lost it?

I had learned, in my Western Christian upbringing, that the lost sheep is useless without the rest of the flock. That the poor dear one symbolizes separation from God, by choice or tragic event, and needs to be restored to the flock of the Shepherd’s care. But Eastern Christian thought, as I learned in my class, has a different take. In this tradition, a flock of 100 sheep signifies wholeness. So if one sheep strays, the 99 left behind are incomplete until that one returns to the flock. It’s not about saving that lost sheep only for its own sake, but for the sake of the whole flock. And so that’s the reason for such great rejoicing—saving one saves them all.

What a wonderful feeling of family and unity that interpretation brings, I realized. Not only does each of us matter to God, but we each matter to one another. Imagine the possibilities that can come from really living this understanding of wholeness. For example, what if we took to heart each individual who stopped coming to church and considered ourselves lacking without their presence? How great would it feel to bring them back into the fold!

Regarding the impossibility of our ever being divided from God, Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “Principle [God] and its idea is one …” (Science and Health,p. 465). The unity between God and His child is so inseparable, so profound, that Mrs. Eddy used the verb is instead of are to describe our spiritual relationship and holy interconnectedness. Oneness. Wholeness. Each of us is the image and likeness of our divine Father-Mother, as the book of Genesis claims (see chap.1). So not only does each individual have a unique purpose and place in God’s kingdom, but we are all united as equal creations of our divine Parent.

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