Posted by: Melissa Bane Sevier | September 9, 2019

When did we stop looking?

When Luke mentions Jesus eating with sinners, the word should probably be in quotations. Everyone defines a “sinner” differently. It seems that it simply, in Luke’s words, means someone who is lost.

Now all the tax-collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, ‘This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.’

So he told them this parable: ‘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? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And 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.” Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance.

 ‘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? When 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.” Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.’

[from Luke 15]

Jesus loves hanging out with those who felt lost, disconnected, different. If we channel his character, so should we. And we all know lost people.

The adult child who has wandered into opioid abuse.

The aged parent who is institution-bound.

The partner who shares our home but has stopped communicating.

The friend who seems depressed.

The teen who stands at the fringes of the group.

The toddler separated from refugee parents.

The victim of sexual assault.

An acquaintance who is out of work.

In many ways, we are all lost. We’re hoping to find and to be found. We want to be restored and to restore—to friends, to family, to full humanity, to wholeness.

Too bad we have stopped looking, because there is so much to be gained in the finding.

When we look for each other, God finds us. And rejoices.

© Melissa Bane Sevier, 2019

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