Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering round to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, ‘This man welcomes sinners, and eats with them.’ Then Jesus told them this parable: ‘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? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbours together and says, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.” 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 people who do not need to repent. ‘Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbours together and says, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.” In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.’
Luke 15: 1-10
How often have we heard the phrase “no one is indispensable”? It’s meant to convey that no one is so important that they cannot be replaced, that there will always be someone else to step into their shoes. In today’s passage Jesus suggests that, as far as God is concerned, this is certainly not the case. One individual sheep or coin or soul is as important to God as all the others. I asked my 12 year old son what these parables meant to him. His answer was short and succinct. “God isn’t interested in the majority. God is interested in each individual one of us. So if I go astray, God will look come looking for me. If you go astray, God will come looking for you.” Not much else I can add to that really!
Loving Lord God,
Thank you for seeing me as indispensable,
as an individual,
as more than a statistic.
Thank you for always coming to find me when I go astray.
Lucy Cooke is an Elder in the Northern Synod, a worship leader, and supports her synod with safeguarding work
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