November 24, 2023

Matthew 18:12-18 (NRSV)

12What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.

15“If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. 16But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.


Living in community isn’t easy, Three-in-One God. We blame and shame those who can’t keep up. We get frustrated when everyone falls in-step with the group except that one. There always seems to be that one. Forgive us when we fail to build consensus. Embolden us to address conflict in productive ways. Show us how to work together effectively. Empower us to create communities of accountability. Deepen our understanding of one another. May your love hold us together and lead us onward, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Written by Rev. Rev. Emily Rhodes Hunter,

Campus Minister, UKirk Presbyterian Campus Ministry at Virginia Tech

Click here for the rest of today’s lectionary readings.