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Monday, September 9, 2013
Today’s Reading | Luke 15:1−10
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 people 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.” (NRSV)
These two parables speak of the joy in finding something that we thought we had lost. They express a joy that differs from the joy conveyed by the saying, “Finders keepers, losers weepers,” because in these parables there is no finder who comes upon something that had previously belonged to someone else. Instead these parables assume that the thing found already belonged to its finder.
All things belong to God, because all things were made by God. We express this belief every Sunday when we offer up to the Lord a portion of what we have received from God. These parables reveal, however, not only a God who created all things, but also a God who values and treasures all that he has created. God will search to the ends of the earth for each person made in his image, and God knows great joy when he finds any one of us.
You, Lord, are steadfast and loyal. You have not given up on me, even when I have left your fold. For my sake, Lord, do not let me be away from you too long. When I do not make my way back to you, find me so that I may know the joy felt on that day. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.
Written by Joyce Shin, Associate Pastor for Congregational Care
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