losing your christmas sheep

Category : God, Jesus, Luke, bible, different, faith, hope

     

Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear him. 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. Does he not 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 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. (Luke 15: 1-7)

The parable of the lost sheep is one of the most famous parables in the entire Bible.  It’s the first of a collection of stories where Jesus emphasize the value God places on each of us.  As we approach Christmas it’s easy to lose sight of that.  It’s easy to develop a sense of entitlement and “I deserve this” attitudes.  Being with family might even make that easier!

But Jesus reveals something astonishing.  Saying, “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.” 

Can you imagine?!  No matter what you’re doing, or how you’re celebrating, or who you are, God wants to find you.  He wants to have a relationship with you.  Can you imagine?!

We often think of Christmas in terms of gifts, vacations and lots of food.  Which, frankly, are all good things.  But to God, Christmas means something a little bit different.  To bring us back into the flock, God sent his son knowing that he would have to die a horrible death.  God was willing to sacrifice everything to find us. 

I’m not sure I’ll ever stop being amazed at that.   

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