September 15, 2019

September 15, 2019

September 15, 2019
Luke 15:1-10
by Susan Groseclose
Clergy & Associate Director of
Connectional Ministries for Discipleship
Smoky Mountain District

When was the last time you lost something of value? Several months ago I lost my cell phone. I wasn’t sure if I had accidentally left the phone in the grocery store or it had dropped out of my pocket in the parking lot or in my car. A mild panic rushed over me thinking about all the phone numbers and contact information, personal information, and calendar that I keep on my phone. I thought about what information could be retrieved from the cloud and what information I would need to attempt to pull from memory. I attempted to use my husband’s cell phone to locate my phone but since it was on vibrate that ended up not helping me locate it. I searched the car to no avail so drove back to the grocery store to retrace my steps. I was still unable to locate my phone nor had it been turned in to customer service. I drove back home frustrated with myself and upset. I looked once again through the car and found it wedged between the seats!!! What a relief!! What a joyous moment!!

Jesus’ parable reminds us that in God’s Kingdom we are all valuable! In God’s Kingdom the owner of the sheep will leave the ninety-nine sheep behind to search for the one lost sheep. In God’s Kingdom the woman carefully lights a lamp and sweeps out the house till she finds the lost coins, equivalent to a day’s wages. In God’s Kingdom there is rejoicing whenever someone turns around from sinful attitudes or actions and repents.

Jesus tells these two parables in response to the Pharisees grumbling about Jesus’ amazing love and inclusion of all persons, especially those who recognize and repent of their sinful nature. The Pharisees determine in their minds who is valuable – who is worthy of God’s Kingdom. In their perceptions, their own self-righteousness is more important and should be praised rather than the humble repentance of the sinner who knows their need for God’s salvation and righteousness.

Reflect for a few minutes – How can you express today the joy that your presence brings to God and to God’s Kingdom? How can you join God in searching and seeking out persons for God’s Kingdom? How does your church celebrate and rejoice in times of confession and repentance?

Prayer: Loving and amazing God, You search me and thoroughly know me. You rejoice in my humbleness. You rejoice in my confession and repentance as I turn back to your ways. You rejoice in my willingness to join You in the work of Your Kingdom searching for others who need to know and experience Your loving presence and grace.