Luke dedicates chapter 15 to remind us that we should rejoice when the lost are found! Three examples are provided: 1) lost sheep, 2) lost coin and 3) lost son.
1. The Lost Sheep. Sheep are certainly important to the shepherd and losing even one might be grounds for losing his job! Jesus uses this common knowledge to emphasize the importance of seeking and finding the lost. In this example, Jesus concludes:
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.
2. The Lost Coin. For those who have lost something important to them, a physical “thing” such as a precious coin, or perhaps you misplaced a ring or cell phone! When you finally find the thing, you want to celebrate with your friends. It is good to proclaim, “Rejoice with me.” Two great examples of why we should rejoice as a family of faith.
3. The Lost Son (the Prodigal Son). This famous story is one of the most memorable from my childhood since I have an older brother. Not that we acted like the characters in the story, it just got my attention. Here we find more details in the narrative, but the end result is the same: the lost are found.
Two lessons: 1) seek the lost and 2) rejoice when they are found!
Lord help us to have eyes for the lost in our world and teach us to celebrate, to rejoice with the angels, when one is found. One by one you will transform the world.