Luke 15:1-10 (NRSV)
Chapter 15Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. Verse 2And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, "This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them." Verse 3So he told them this parable: Verse 4"Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? Verse 5When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. Verse 6And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.' Verse 7Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. Verse 8"Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? Verse 9When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.' Verse 10Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
My brother and I were enjoying a day at the Minnesota State Fair when it started to storm.
As we huddled with our Pronto Pups to wait it out in the horticulture building, the rain just seemed to increase and we decided to dash to our car and head for home. But very soon on I-94 we found ourselves stopped in traffic by an underpass half submerged in water. There was no moving forward and no turning back.
I climbed a chain link fence and walked a block to a restaurant to call my dad (this was long before cell phones). I told him of our predicament, and he promised he would get to us somehow. An hour later, as the storm continued, he found a way to reach us. So it is with our persistent, searching God, who comes after us when we are lost and reaches us in the day of trouble.
Pursuing God, thank you for coming after us when we become lost or find ourselves in trouble. Help us to experience the joy of the angels as we seek out and welcome those who are missing from your beloved community. Amen.