If you see your fellow Israelite's ox or sheep straying, do not ignore it but be sure to take it back to its owner. If they do not live near you or if you do not know who owns it, take it home with you and keep it until they come looking for it. Then give it back. Do the same if you find their donkey or cloak or anything else they have lost. Do not ignore it. If you see your fellow Israelite's donkey or ox fallen on the road, do not ignore it. Help the owner get it to its feet. Deuteronomy 22:1-4
Today's passage addresses the need for us to look out for one another. If a fellow Israelite saw a brother's ox or sheep straying, he was to take it back to its owner. If he did not know to whom the animal belonged, he was to care for it until the owner came. If a donkey or ox had fallen, the Israelite was to help the owner get the animal back on its feet. These are simple and straightforward instructions based in the theology of community.
The Christian life is not to be lived alone. God created us for community. Solomon said, "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up" (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).
We need each other on the journey. Traveling alone is not only lonely; it is also foolish. There will be times when we'll need to help someone pack for a move, mow a lawn for someone who is sick, do grocery shopping for a shut-in or provide words of encouragement for someone going through a tough stretch. And there are many things on the journey that will cause us to trip and fall. Pity anyone who falls and has no one to help him or her up.
Heavenly Father, thank You for community. Help us to never think we are better off alone. Help us find the right people to go with us on the journey. In Jesus' name. Amen.