Lost and Found
Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to (Jesus.). And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So he told them this parable: “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. “Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” ~ Luke 15:1-10
Sometimes I think these two parables are so well known that it blunts their impact.
I know that when I have to preach on them, I sometimes think it is difficult to find something new to say. Even now, I've been staring at the page a little bit longer than usual...
It isn't always easy to think of a parallel scenario that I've had. I mean, this shepherd and this woman lost things that were vital to their economic well being. Their lives really depended on finding what was theirs.
The closest I've had is when both my husband and I were out of work for a time. Finding jobs was a cause for celebration.
But we didn't throw a party.
How does it make you feel that we have a God who literally throws a party and rejoices when we are found?
That God would drop everything to find us? Leave no stone unturned? Keep sweeping and searching for us?
No matter what.
That we have a God who will never - ever - give up on us.
Holy God, I am so grateful that you never give up on me. Help me to not give up on myself or any of your children. Amen