Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. 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)
Today we hear the parable of the lost sheep and the great joy over finding the lost. Jesus tells those listening how much joy there will be in heaven over one sinner repenting than many other righteous people who do not need to repent. I am always blown away by this parable, because the shepherd leaves 99 other sheep to go look for one lost one. It is truly amazing that this is the same attitude of God. When we are lost, He seeks us out and carries us back when we are found. He does not say; “well one won’t make a difference, I have 99 others.” God doesn’t give up on us, He loves us more than we can ever know, and when we are lost in this world, He wants us to be found.
From this parable I think often about how much we give up on other people in our lives. Sometimes we turn our backs because we don’t want to be involved. Sometimes we have a disagreement and we turn our backs. Sometimes jealousy or pride get in the way and we turn our backs.
Many times we view helping others and helping to find others as an inconvenience. Thank goodness that God does not think or act this way. When we are lost, He help us along and is continuously allowing grace to flow in our lives so that we can be found. Of course, we do have to cooperate with that grace. And when those who are lost are found, we know that there will be great rejoicing in heaven!
Prayer of The Day
Father we thank you for the gift of this day. Guide us in all that we do, and glory be to you for all that we have and all that we are. Lord we pray for all those who are lost in this world and who do not know your love. May they be brought to the joy and peace that can only be found in you. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.