All the tax collectors and sinners were gathering around Jesus to listen to him. The Pharisees and legal experts were grumbling, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose someone among you had one hundred sheep and lost one of them. Wouldn’t he leave the other ninety-nine in the pasture and search for the lost one until he finds it? And when he finds it, he is thrilled and places it on his shoulders. When he arrives home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Celebrate with me because I’ve found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who changes both heart and life than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to change their hearts and lives. “Or what woman, if she owns ten silver coins and loses one of them, won’t light a lamp and sweep the house, searching her home carefully until she finds it? When she finds it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Celebrate with me because I’ve found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, joy breaks out in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who changes both heart and life.” (Luke 15:1-10, CEB)
This is the beginning of chapter 15 of the gospel of Luke which most would say is about repentance, because the rest of the chapter is the story most of us know as the Prodigal Son. And that story is about the son repenting and coming home. But these three parables go together. And if it is about repentance how do the sheep and the coin repent?
So bad joke time, how does a sheep repent? I’m sorry I’ve been baaaaaaad.
And how does a coin repent? I promise I’ll change.
But these stories are not about repentance, yes it is there in the last parable but that isn’t the focus. It isn’t about the sheep or the coin here either. It is about the shepherd and the woman. The people who lost something and went looking for it. And when they found the thing that was lost they rejoiced and had a party.
Luke 15 is about Lost Things. As in Tinkerbell, where lost things are things that are lost from the mainland and come to the land of the fairies and Tinkerbell uses them to create wonderful new things. It is about the searching and not giving up until the thing that was lost is found. It is about the love the of thing by the one owning it.
It is about the love God has for you and the lengths God will go to have you home and a part of the kindom.
There is always rejoicing in heaven over you.
Loving People. Loving God.