Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
In this chapter of lost sheep, lost coins, and lost sons, one fact becomes clear to me. God claimed you and me before any one of us became lost. We first belonged to God, because God made us. We are part of God’s flock, God’s treasure, God’s family. We wander off, but God does not write us off as a bad investment or one who is easily forgotten. God goes looking for us to find us and bring us back home. We see in God the good shepherd, the diligent housewife, and loving father – all these and more.
I want to grow in gratitude to think that God comes looking for me. I want to realize that I have been lost, no different from any other person of God’s creation who has wandered away. My Bible puts the word “sinners” in quotes, but really, we all deserve that label, even the most righteous among us. Thank you, God, that you don’t leave me in the wastelands. You have claimed me and rescue me and call me your own.
Thank you, Lord, for welcoming me, for not giving up on me, for reclaiming me. Be for me a beacon of light from the shore when I am being tossed on the sea. No matter what this day brings, keep me firmly fixed by your side, in Jesus Christ our savior. Amen.