Our passage this weekend comes from a very famous set of Jesus’s teachings in the gospel of Luke. Before Jesus shares the most famous of the set, usually known as the Prodigal Son, first Jesus tells two other parables of what is lost and what is found. One is about sheep and the other about coins.
In reality, when you think about it, the value of what keeps getting lost continues to go up with each story. We begin with our livestock that gives us sustenance. Then we move to our money that allows us to have shelter, clothing, and most everything else. And finally, the last story is about losing the fruit of our own heart.
One of my favorite teachers at Divinity School, Dr. Amy-Jill Levine, would remind us that these parables are not only about God’s consistent choice to leave the 99 to pursue the one who needs the attention most. This is also meant to be a reminder to all of us that it is our job to follow in God’s footsteps. To do the more difficult thing. To make the harder choice. To pursue the path less taken that will lead to those who need the love and care and support that have far too often been denied them by the world.
The outcast. The lost. The oppressed. The sick. The imprisoned. The forgotten. The least. The orphan. The widow. The foreign. The different. Everyone that God has consistently chosen to seek out. Those are our neighbors in these parables. The lost who we rejoice when we find them and offer welcome on their terms.
Speaking of which, this weekend is Sunday School Kick-Off! It will be a joy to hear the voices of our younglings throng the air of our campus once again as they join us in worship and learn more about their faith in class. Remember to reach out to them and ask how their year is going, or how life is. Those generational connections can mean more than you know, even if their world does look quite different from the world that we all grew up in.
Blessings, Pastor Janie