10“Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven. 12What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost. (Matthew 18:10-14, NRSV)
Funny that I saw the picture for this devotion the day I sat down to write it. Sometimes sheep may not feel welcomed by the other 99. And that brings up questions of what does that mean. Does that mean, as the cartoon states, they are different in sexual orientation and we just don’t accept them because of that, or is it because they are somehow different than the rest of us? But when we get down to it, aren’t all of us really different from the other 99?
And what God is calling us to do is to love everyone the way God loved us. God loved us when we were filthy in our sins and not able to be with Him. But He picked us up and cleaned us off only for us to get covered in filth again, but He still loves us.
So how can we actually accept everyone and not help keep people from the love that God has for them?