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Friday, March 4, 2016

Lent 2016--Day Twenty two

Luke 15 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:
Jesus was a hit with the tax collectors and sinners and they came to hear his teaching. He did not insult them or put them down. One of them became a disciple. 
On this day he told them three stories that described the joy of finding something that had been lost. The first story discussed the shepherd who lost a lamb. We never raised sheep, but my uncle did once. He said they were dumb. They got lost and in briers or tangled in a fence if they could. They looked for a place to lie down and die until they finally found it if you didn't watch them. But in Jesus' story the shepherd comes back joyfully with the sheep on his shoulders.
The second story was of a woman who lost a valuable coin; she swept the house and moved the furniture until she found the coin. Then she called the neighbors and rejoiced because she found the coin which was so important to her.
The third one is the story of a son who left home and family and was lost to their company. He returned and his father was overwhelmed to see him. His father threw a big party and invited friends to celebrate with joy because of the son's return.
In each of these stories the emphasis is on the joy of finding the lost item. Jesus told it as a lesson to the critics, the Pharisees and scribes who murmured saying, he welcomed sinners and ate with them.
He welcomes us when we have sinned or gotten lost, too. It rules are the same now as they were when Jesus told the story. He is still ready to have a party and celebrate the one who returns. Come to him and rejoice!