They say sheep aren’t the smartest animals; they are rather simple in their understanding. They follow others and are real vulnerable to attack. I guess that is why we dress our kids as them? Every year we do this to our kids and then praise how cute they are.
Look at this picture. Is he not the cutest little sheep ever? Most people who saw my son dressed like this thought that same way. This picture looks cute, but I don’t see it that way because I know what was going on behind the scenes here.
A few weeks ago was our church Christmas program during the morning service. Son # 2 (in the picture) was to play the part of a sheep. Most days this would not have bothered him. In fact, if you know him you know he is all about that sort of attention. This day, he was not going to have any of it. In fact, he was beside himself in the morning letting me know over and over again that he did not want to be a sheep. I assured him that I would not play the part of the pushy parent and make him do it, even though I didn’t understand why he didn’t want to do it. He even refused to put his clothes on until I assured him that he would not have to be a sheep.
We get to church and have a final rehearsal. He seems like he will be alright with going up front for a few songs. He did not have a speaking part, but had a few songs he was to sing with the other kids. The director had told me that he was going to get his sheep outfit on 15 minutes prior to the service. I told her that I didn’t think he would do it because he “does not want to be a sheep.”
I got out of the class I was teaching and wouldn’t you know it, he had put the costume on. He looked adorable and everyone told him so. I wanted to snap a simple picture of him in my office, but he would not look at the camera. Then he would not smile. I finally was able to convince him to smile, using secret dad powers, or bribery. Are they the same thing?
Anyways, we went to the sanctuary and it was a full service, in that there were limited places to sit. Kids have a way of drawing people to church I guess. I was supposed to pick a spot for my family to sit, as I was up front leading various portions of the service. I picked a spot behind a family with a camcorder on a tripod. I am very sorry to that family for all the times my boys are in their film. I did not intend for my kids to dominate and disturb their video, but I guess that is what happened.
The time came for the sheep to go up front. I went back to get him and he would not go up. I told him I would go with him and he told me he “does not want to be a sheep.” I replied, “You are dressed like a sheep!” It was not going to happen. He just wanted to sit there and sing at his spot. At this point, the song was about to start and I was in the way of the guy with the camera so I left him to go up front for the family song. There he sat, fully costumed, but not willing to do anything with it. He was a dressed like a sheep, but he had no shepherd to lead him.
Is this not a telling picture of how so many will live everyday? Many get all dressed up and look the Christian part, but on the inside they are just not in it. Sure, my son looked cute, but things aren’t always what they seem.
That is the crux of the matter, isn’t it? What will you actually do with the Word of God that has been imparted to you? Will you apply it to your life, or will you just acknowledge that it is there and go about your life however you feel like it?
All that knowledge about what Jesus taught is helpful, but until you actually put it into practice you are just like this sheep without a shepherd. Sure, you look the part, but there is no real connection to what you look like to who you are. On Christmas Eve this song was done again up front. This time, he didn’t have the costume, but he came running up front and sang with us. I think it is time to shed the costume and get involved in the things of God, don’t you?
It is time to stop pretending and put some action to the faith we profess with our mouth.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. – James 1:22