The Lost Sheep

Parable of the Lost Sheep
Luke 15: 1-7
Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them!
So Jesus told them this story:  “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’  In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!

I am sharing this parable because lately, I have been busy walking beside a loved one who is in recovery from addiction. I guess you could say it has affected my life in great ways. I have not been perfect in my reactions. There have been others involved (those selling drugs). I have not been as patient with. You see, I have been hopeful and full of faith for my loved one to go through rehab, to become truly free, and believe that she will reconcile to God. But,for those who were selling the drugs (one person in particular), I have not been hopeful. That is until God showed me that He wanted me to leave my comfort zone, to love and hope for him too. He is his child too!  I have recently had conversations about Jesus to him.  To my surprise, he (who I treated like I shouldn’t associate with) was open to the gospel.  I guess you could say this is a confession. I behaved just like the Pharisees and teachers did. The parable was actually shared because of their behavior.  I am grateful for God’s mercy on me! Let us pray:

Lord, please forgive us (or at least me) when we are not willing to go after that one sheep that has strayed away.  Teach us to see others from your perspective.  Help us to go to those that may be difficult for us to tell about you.  Help us to forgive and let go of our opinions and judgements. Give us enough faith, hope and joy as we share with others about you.  In Jesus name, Amen.