Daily Reflection – 11/9/2023
The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So Jesus addressed this parable to them. “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance. Or what woman having ten coins and losing one would not light a lamp and sweep the house, searching carefully until she finds it? And when she does find it, she calls together her friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.’ In just the same way, I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:1-10)
Never, ever forget the lesson in these beautiful lines of scripture. They speak of His love for you, they speak of your value, they speak of His forgiveness.
Take these words into your heart and let them be the fuel that drives your day for they teach us more about the heart of God than a library full of theological treatises. They begin by reminding us that God cares about each one of us. He cares deeply enough to go out of his way to save us when we are lost. The words remind us of our value to Him.
Yes, you may be successful, confident and one who has a good heart for others. It’s easy to feel you are valued by God, you are blessed by God, you are loved by God.
But there is, of course, the flip side of that coin. There are those for whom the days are not so bright, who don’t feel they are successful, who don’t even feel the presence of God in their lives.
And then there are those who are in between.
There are times in our lives when we question our value or perhaps feel that we have lost value. Perhaps we have hurt someone deeply because of selfishness or fear, and this brought an important relationship in our life to a close. Perhaps we are struggling with a destructive habit, the abuse of alcohol or pornography. As hard as we try, we are not able to bring that habit under control. Perhaps we have less energy or ability because of sickness or advancing age. We are not able to contribute in the way in which we once could.
Whatever the reason, there are times that we feel that our value has slipped, our worth is reduced, and we are not the people we can or should be. In those circumstances the parable of the woman and the coin reminds us that we still have value in God’s sight. God still cares for us and treasures us. God is committed to finding us.
But here is the key. We don’t feel valued on the darkest of days because we are using the wrong measures to value ourselves.
Our worth depends on what we mean to God. And we mean a lot. We mean enough for God to create us, save us, and keep searching to bring us closer, closer to the life that God wants us to live. Today’s scripture could not be any stronger about that. the parable of the woman and the coin reminds us that we still have value in God’s sight.
He does not care about your balance sheet, or how much adulation you might receive or even whether you have appeared on the cover of TIME magazine. He cares about you and what you will do with His love for you.
He wants His love to transform you.
He wants you to begin each day knowing that no one could be loved more. He wants you to have that thought become the driving force of your life. When that happens, you will always see beyond the clouds to the brightness of the day. You will know that you have been forgiven. You will know that you are never alone, and you are always loved. And you will bring that love to every word and every action of your day.
However, your spirits may be, however lost you may feel, just remember that even now God has lit the lamp and is sweeping away ever obstacle, so that he can say to the angels of heaven, “Rejoice with me, for here is my beloved daughter or son whom I have been able to bring closer to myself.”
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus, let your light dispel the darkness that what is lost may be found and restored. Let your light shine through me that others may see your love and truth and find hope and peace in you. May I never doubt your love nor take for granted the mercy you have shown to me. Fill me with your transforming love that I may be merciful as you are merciful.”
We are called to be vulnerable to those outside the boundaries of our private lives and our community of faith: to give with no expectation of reward, to love without demand for return, to reach out to those in need with unrelenting care, to release preoccupation with the cares and concerns of our own lives (or perhaps through these cares) to reach out in love to those who are not easy to love. We are called to do all this in delight and with joy and in so doing we mirror the foolishness of the LOVE we call God. St Paul tells us that God has chosen what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong. By God’s grace we are the weak and the foolish.