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Do You Smell?

Christ the good shepherd, without doubt, chose to get close to His sheep. He took on flesh and became Emmanuel – God with us.

One of my favorite camp memories is from more than 10 years ago. My friend and co-dean Debbie Herren arranged for us to have a lamb at the camp. It was a big hit. He was just about to be weaned and some of the campers got to bottle feed him and even more hand fed him grain. Everyone quickly fell in love with him.

I went out to hang out with him and get a picture taken. I picked him up and was holding him in front of me. He nuzzled my neck and rested his head on my shoulder. I found it adorable and thought he was the softest thing I had ever felt. I told him how cute he was and asked him if he wanted to come and live in my backyard. I told him I would be his shepherd and take care of him. Plus I would never have to cut the grass again. It sounded like a win-win.

I began to notice things. He was more than a little dirty. There were bits of leaves and twigs in his wool. He was not bright white like the cotton ball sheep of my childhood Sunday school classes. I told him, “Dude you need your hair brushed.” About this time someone came outside to get me to tell me I was needed inside. I reluctantly put my new friend down and started to head inside. I started to head inside brushing off the front of my shirt and quickly realized that I did not smell good. There is no delicate way to say this. Sheep do not use toilet paper and my arm where I had been holding him was covered in sheep poo. Needless to say, I had to go clean up and change my clothes to go back inside. The thing I learned is that if you get close to sheep you will end up smelling like sheep.

Christ the good shepherd, without doubt, chose to get close to His sheep. (See John 10) He took on flesh and became Emmanuel – God with us. He was tempted in every we are and bore our sins on His body. He was crucified, buried, and resurrected interceding on our behalf before the throne of God.

What about you? Who do you smell like?

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