Ever lose sight of your child…in a store, at the beach or the park? Remember how you felt? Panicked. Distraught. Fearful. Remember the split second your eyes landed on your child? Relief! Gratefulness. The urge to kiss and hug them….and then give them a VERY firm talking to about staying where you could see them!! I know. I remember it well. I think the words I said began with this…”if you EVER run off again…!!”
Luke 15:4-7 tells us a similar story. “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
Notice it doesn’t say Jesus chastised the sheep all the way home. He joyfully puts it on his shoulders. He threw a celebration that HIS missing sheep was found! Have YOU experienced that moment when the Shepherd’s generous grace and forgiveness finds you in your lost-ness? Being the recipient…the one who was lost and is now…found! The Shepherd, who is Jesus, and all of heaven, celebrate when each one of us opens our heart to Him, asks forgiveness of our sins, and allows Him to rescue us and bring us home. That IS the best celebration of all!