Sunday 11 September 2016

Bible Book:

"I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." (v. 10)

Luke 15:1-10 Sunday 11 September 2016

Psalm: Psalm 51


What's this fellow doing mixing with this lot? Tax collectorsand sinners (verse 1)! The problem is that the Pharisees knowexactly how to fulfil the requirements of their faith: they kneowthe Hebrew Scriptures; they knew what to eat and what not to eat;they knew who to mix with and who they should not associate with asoutsiders in their community.

As often happened, Jesus answered them with two short stories.Think about losing one of your precious sheep, he says, wouldn'tyou go and look for it. Think about losing some money, would youjust shrug your shoulders and say oh well that's gone? Of coursenot. You would go out and search until you found what it was thatwas lost. We can perhaps see the Pharisees nodding and agreeing towhat he says, until the last few words: "I tell you, there is joyin the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents".I am sure they must have gone away with much to think about whenthey heard those words.

So what about today: are we any better at allowing the words ofJesus to speak to "tax collectors and sinners" than those listening2,000 years ago? I have been in many churches where the presence ofa group of strangers is looked on with suspicion, especially ifthey do not know how to 'behave'.

I have even known churches that lock the door when the faithful arein just in case! In case of what? A lost sheep might come in!

A while ago a window was broken in the local church. A young manfound by the police admitted his crime, and it was agreed that hecould work off his 'sentence'. So each Saturday he has came alongto the church and worked hard in a variety of tasks.

Today was the last day, but he said he would like to come back andhelp again - it was better than hanging around. A lost sheep?Perhaps, who knows?

To Ponder

  • What do you think would be the best way to find the lost sheep:preach to them, or eat with them? Why?
  • Have you ever been lost and longed for someone to find you?What happened?
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