Luke 15:1-10 (NRSV)

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

15 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 persons who need no repentance.

The Parable of the Lost Coin

“Or what woman having ten silver coins,[a] 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.’ 10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Some Thoughts on Today’s Reading—Pastor Pam

It is a fearful thing to be lost. Whether we are a child separated from her mother or an adult separated from family and friends, being lost shakes us.

Jesus seeks to keep us together. He values community and tells the story of the shepherd going after the missing sheep and the women searching for her missing coin. He shares these stories with a crowd that is divided over teachings that he models and speaks. As he spends time with those others find as outcasts, his actions not only put his true will under the spotlight, they also put a focus on those who disagree.

Jesus shakes things up.

In divided times, we humans and followers of Christ can be shaken. We can disagree with friends and neighbors and even our church family. “What would Jesus do?” is a question often asked. The answer is in these two parables. He goes out and finds us. He brings us together.

These passages in Luke are about forgiveness, reconciliation and community. Jesus restores community and we are all reminded that we are so much stronger together. And not only are we stronger, we are whole and restored as Jesus teaches us to be. We can differ yet be restored.

When we are shaken, he reminds us that we are not lost. He is coming for us.

 Peace and Grace,

Pastor Pam