“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.” (Luke 15:1 – 7)
I was and am one of the ninety-nine. I grew up in a Christian home that lead to my accepting Jesus, baptism, and everything else that goes with that. I even went to seminary. I am one of the ninety-nine “sheep” that were left safely in the fold when God and Christ go looking for the lost.
I am one of the ninety-nine. I have met new Christians and seen them develop their faith. I have seen then when they are first brought into the fold, or when they have gotten lost and come back in need of aid and healing. While I may have wounds and may need healing, they have come about because of what happened when I was out in the field, but I have always come back home to be tended to. I am one of the ninety-nine.
I do not envy those who have been lost, and I do not begrudge the “special” treatment they have gotten. I know that being one of the ninety-nine, I am not loved more or less; I am loved the same. I am one of ninety-nine, but each of us are loved and cherished as much as the hundredth.
“Or what woman having ten silver coins, 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.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Verses 8-10)
Have you ever been lost beloved reader? Lost perhaps in the sense of being apart and adrift from the Divine? Have you been found and brought back with great rejoicing? Or perhaps you have just been geographically or directionally lost? Was it now a sense of relief when you spotted a familiar landmark or sign? Did you not breath a sigh of relief when you knew home and the familiar were not far away?
Each of us are precious to God and our Lord Jesus Christ, even if we are one of many or one that has been lost. Each one of us is special and precious, and when the Divine counts those that are dear and desired we are all counted, named, and known. Do not begrudge those that are lost and then found, nor those who have never been lost and have not ever known what it was like to be lost. We all are different, one from another. But we are familiar to our Lord God and the Divine does not anyone of us to be left out or lost.
May you, beloved reader, know what it is like to be numbered amongst God’s precious and called people. Selah!