[今日經文 Today’s Reading: 路加福音 Luke 15-16]
數據非常驚人。 如果一家公司的產品有50%以上被證明有缺陷，公司肯定會找出原因並採取相應的行動進行改進。 可悲的是，許多教會有意或無意地把孩子放在一邊，而大人則在教堂裡享受滿足的時光。
我們自己親愛的孩子是最重要卻又最被忽視的宣教工場！我們有 18 年的時間不僅要與他們分享福音，還要訓練他們。比喻中的牧羊人是“把九十九隻留在曠野，去追尋那迷失的ㄧ隻，直到找到”。也許是時候讓父母和教會重新調整我們例常的教會計劃和活動，並集中精力將我們自己教會的孩子“融入其中”，尤其是世界正在全力以赴奪取他們的心和他們的頭腦。願教會裝備父母成為宣教士，派他們到宣教工場（他們自己的家）去尋找迷失的羊（他們的孩子）！
πρόβατον probaton (n) = 羊 sheep
The Parable of the Lost Sheep is a familiar parable to us. We often think that the lost sheep are those who have never heard the gospel and accordingly consider how we should reach out to them. But how about those who have grown up in the church and who nevertheless are still lost? Have we gone after them? Too often we are satisfied and proud just to have any sheep at all in the church without thinking about the reason why so many others have become lost, not even to mention making it a priority to bring them back.
The data is very alarming. If over 50% of a company’s product are shown to be defective, the company would definitely try to figure out the reason and would act accordingly to make changes. Sadly, unknowingly or knowingly, many churches have simply put the children to the side while the adults enjoy a satisfying time in the church.
Our own dear children are the most important yet most neglected mission field! We have 18 years not only to share the gospel with them but also to disciple them. The shepherd in the parable is to “leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it”. Maybe it is time for parents and churches to reanalyze our usual church programs and activities and put a concentrated effort on bringing our own church children “into the fold”, especially since the world is putting all of its effort on going after their hearts and their minds. May the church equip parents to be missionaries and send them out to the mission field (their own homes) to find the lost sheep (their children)!
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, please open our eyes to see our dear children as the most important mission field and to go after those who are lost! In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
πρόβατον probaton (n) = sheep