Luke 15: 1-10
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
1Now the tax collectors and "sinners" were all gathering around to hear him. 2But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."
3Then Jesus told them this parable: 4"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' 7I 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.
The Parable of the Lost Coin
8"Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins[a] and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' 10In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
- 2 parables today about losing things
- Expert in losing things
- Bum bag fixed that
- Earliest memory of losing teddy when he was right there under my arm.
- Losing things
Are we lost?
- When I first read the 2 parables, I wondered about the coin itself. Does it know it's lost?
- Parable of the lost sheep. Does the sheep know it's lost?
- Mustering cattle. Calling the cattle with a horn. Going to new pastures. Starts a chain of moos echoing through the paddock.
- Finding the lost ones in the good places. Up in the ridges, too far away to hear the horn.
- Some even run away. Enjoying the current situation more than seeing what else is on offer.
- Are we like cattle? Too mixed up in the good things of the world to realise we're lost? Do we realise when we're sinning? Sometimes we hear Jesus' call when he comes looking for us and we turn and follow him, through the gate to the promised land. Sometimes we run.
"I cannot come to the banquet, don't trouble me now
I have married a wife, I have bought me a cow
I have fields and commitments that cost a pretty sum
Pray hold me excused, I cannot come"
We all have excuses to ignore the call of Jesus. It makes sense, totally justifiable! I have things that just can't wait! Just give me a little bit more time. One more go.
And we're the ones that know his voice. What of the people that don't know Jesus? How are they to know they are lost?
- Todays reading starts with Jesus in the presence of "runners".
1Now the tax collectors and "sinners" were all gathering around to hear him. 2But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."Jesus goes out, makes himself available and welcomes those that are lost. Jesus goes.
As Jesus relates the 2 parables of one lost from many, he makes clear the reasons why; the joy of finding one and bringing them back to the fold.
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.The parables aren't really about losing things, it's the joy of finding.
That joy is open to us too. We, the wayward cattle that hear the call and follow to the new pastures can call out ourselves to tell others. We can echo out Jesus' words to those close to us. "Do you know him? Do you know what our lord has in store for us?".
Like a peanut planted to yield a hundredfold, and those peanuts planted to yield 10,000 fold, our faith, planted by knowing Jesus is a faith that's meant to spread.
So fill up, fill up from Jesus' cup. Drink it to the end. Then reach out, reach out with open arms!