Weekly Liturgy : September 5-11
The Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin
Luke 15 : 1 - 10
(Common English Bible)
1-2 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.”
3-7 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.
8-10 “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."
Most people I know (myself included) prefer to keep limits on their compassion. We like to decide when someone else is past the point of deserving our care, or beyond any hope of becoming more than who they are right now.
But these stories seem to suggest that God has a view of humanity that is wildly different. If the shepherd and the woman are intended to represent God, then not only does God not have lines in the sand, but God is a God who is consistently wooing people back into love, community, and belonging.
I wonder what the world would be like if we believed that it's possible for us to do the same.
Outward Mindset Application Think of a task toward which you are giving less than your best effort. Give you best effort to that thing today.
Pathways Toward Centeredness Activism (loving the world through confrontation): What is a social cause you care about right now? Write a letter to a decision-maker advocating for your perspective.
Questions for Reflection Have you ever felt like you were past the point of deserving love? What (or, who) helped you remember your worthiness? What is the best party you've ever been invited to?