Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sheep prayers

Do sheep pray? And if they do, would they pray about feeling picked on, or left out, or just not feeling as special as the other sheep? Perhaps they do, and Browning's prayers were heard.

Last night we got a call from the lady who teaches one of the kids' study classes at our church. They are currently studying the sacrificial system of the Old Testament and how it pointed forward to Christ's sacrifice for our sins. The teacher planned to use a toy sheep to help the kids imagine what it would be like to have to take the life of an innocent animal (or watch your father do it for you) when you had sinned against God. She called a mutual friend last night looking for a toy sheep, and learned that I have real sheep - and how much better would the object lesson be with a living, breathing animal?

So this morning after chores, instead of dressing in my "best" as befits worshipping the King, I donned slacks and practical shoes, put Browning in the trailer, and took him to church. I chose him because he is probably the calmest of my sheep around strangers, leads well, and has the biggest horns (kids have stereotypes in mind, after all).

He didn't disappoint me. The kids (and I think we ended up with ALL of them, not just the one teacher's class) loved him, and I think he truly enjoyed the attention – AND the break from being a ram punching bag companion!
Happy Sabbath from . . .


Anonymous said...

The picture of the little boy looking at the sheep is priceless.

An English Shepherd said...

What a lovely post.

Wizz :-)

Christine said...

Awwwwwww. :)

Heather said...

What an awesome object lesson. People often think that it wasn't a big deal for the Israelites to sacrifice an animal, but usually these were lambs that they had hand raised themselves as a family and often the animals lived with the families - space was a premium :o). Sin and sacrifice was a big deal. Christ, too was raised among us and lived with us and was sacrificed for and by us. A big deal. (Can you tell I'm a Sunday School teacher? lol)
Every farm needs a P.R. sheep for moments like these!

Sharon said...

Parables and object lessons are the tooth in teaching. What a wonderful example you provided. Some of those kids will never forget. I look forward to tomorrow - the last Sunday of Advent.

Juliann said...

Michelle what a wonderful and powerful lesson, and how cool that you and Browning could help teach it.

Jenny Holden said...

Gosh, why on earth should an animal die for the sins of people? They were surely just sinning again by taking an innocent life! People have had some very odd ideas in the past. Did they not eat the meat in honour of the life they had taken, so that it might go on to sustain life?

Lovely that the kids got to see Browning, he is looking very well.

Jenny Holden said...

I just realised that the above might offend. It wasn't intended to at all, it's just the way I feel about such things! Sorry if it did x

Michelle said...

No offense taken, Jenny. I do realize that to someone who doesn't believe in the history of this world as the Bible tells it, the story of our redemption can seem brutal and non-sensical. Taking the life of an innocent animal IS awful, to God their Creator even more so than to us! (And no, the meat was not wasted, but was indeed used to sustain life.) As the Bible tells it, humans contaminated this planet with sin, and now "all creation groans under the weight of sin." No, that is not fair to the animals, any more than it is when innocent people suffer and die at the hands of other people. The only remedy for sin is the willing death of the sinless Creator Himself, and I trust that all I cannot understand here will be made plain in heaven - and that Satan will pay for all the pain and suffering he has delighted to inflict upon all of God's creation.

tonya said...

Beautiful post. What an important role Browning has had this season :) In regards to the Old Testament law of sacrifice - I couldn't imagine sacrificing my favorite lamb because of my trespasses - I've thought of that often, and how hard that must have been for the Israelites. I understand though that it was the law that God put in place for "without the shedding of blood there is no remission for sin" I am just thankful that God loved us enough to make another way - by sending His son "behold the lamb of God" who became the ultimate sacrifice for sins, putting an end to the old law, and died for all that "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" Truely a reason to celebrate this Christmas season!

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