Team Rector: Rev. Margaret Sherwin
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Then Jesus told them this parable: “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 neighbours 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.
Luke 15:1-7 (NIV)
A parable is a story told to explain something important. This one is well known but we should not just concentrate on the little fluffy lamb. It is about how God cares for us amongst our troubles and failings.
Some people might look down on others, such as the homeless, prisoners, those with problems or who use food banks. In Jesus’ day, those who were seen as important in the Jewish community looked down on people like tax collectors.
Jesus actively spoke with those who were looked down on. He even shared meals with them. They felt safe with Jesus and they longed for acceptance and the embrace of God’s grace.
We can all wander off and get lost and this story shows that God loves us so much that he came to rescue us, just as the shepherd cared about the on lost lamb that he left the 99 others safe and go looking for it.
If you follow this link, you will find all sorts of ‘lost sheep’ activities to download for free: https://www.lostsheep.com.au/activities/