Monday, November 14, 2011
Read: Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them." So he told them this parable: "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his 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. - Luke 15:1- 1 (ESV).
Think About "Salvation": "There are so many people in the world - so many problems." "My everyday fears and cares are insignificant compared to starvation, human trafficking, or murder." "Why would God care about my stuff?" "He's got plenty to worry about..."
Thoughts like these are not unique to today. They were present in Jesus' time as well. People wanted to know how a nameless, faceless God could possibly care about them and know what they were going through.
In the above parable, Jesus likens God to a human shepherd, charged with the care of many sheep. A sheep cannot understand many of the actions taken by a shepherd on its behalf. Many such actions may indeed seem strange to the simple sheep (shearing, herding, corralling, hobbling). But the shepherd's whole livelihood is concerned with the welfare of his sheep. When one of them becomes lost or sick, the shepherd's entire energy is devoted to that one sick or lost sheep. He does not rest until it is restored.
But a shepherd, no matter how devoted, is only human. How much greater is the concern and care of the Lord of All Things?
Our God, the God who knows how many hairs are on our heads (Matt. 10:30), cares about our cares. Our troubles are His troubles. His ways are not our necessarily our ways (Isa. 55:8), but Jesus had faith in Him, until the bitter end (Luke 23:46). Such faith conquers death itself.
This is the Good News. Have faith. Take comfort. Live.
Pray this Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever - Amen!
Written by the St. Luke's Writing Team
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