January Sermon Illustrations

January 28, 2010

The Shepherd's Call

In a Highland village there was a shepherd who had a little daughter. He would take her with him when he went out over the moors to tend and fold the sheep. Most of all the daughter liked to hear her father call the sheep with the shepherd's call, sounding free and beautiful down the wind, over the moors.

By and by the little girl became a beautiful young woman and went off to the great city, Edinburgh or Glasgow, to take a post. At first her letters came regularly every week. Then the intervals between them grew longer, and finally the letters ceased altogether. There were rumors, too, in the village, that the shepherd's daughter had been seen in gay company and in questionable places. At length a lad from the village who knew her well saw her one day in the city and spoke to her, but she pretended that she had never seen him before. When the shepherd heard this, he gathered a few things together and, clad in his shepherd's smock, with a shawl wrapped around his shoulders and his shepherd's staff in his hand, set out for the city to seek and find his lost daughter.

Day after day he sought her in vain, on the avenues and in the slums and closes of the city. Then he remembered how his daughter loved to hear him give the shepherd's call. Again he set out on his quest of sorrow and love, this time sounding, loud and free, the shepherd's call. Passersby turned with astonishment to look on the shepherd in his smock and with his staff as he went up and down the streets sounding the shepherd's call. At length, in one of the degraded sections of the city, his daughter, sitting in a room with her gay companions, suddenly looked up with astonishment in her face. There was no doubt about it! It was her father's voice! The shepherd's call! Flinging wide the door, she rushed out upon the street, and there was her father, who took her in his arms and carried her with him to the Highland home, and there loved her back to decency and to God.

Subject: Forgiveness

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