Faith Daily | 3 November 2022
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p598
God our Father,
whose will it is to bring all things
to order and unity in our Lord Jesus Christ:
may all the peoples of the world,
now divided and torn apart by sin,
be brought together under his sovereign rule of love;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 15: 1-10
Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. 2And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” 3So he told them this parable: 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? 5When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. 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.’ 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. 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? 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.’ 10Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Debbie Pringle
William Barclay says that there is no chapter of the New Testament that is so well known and loved as Luke 15 (which also contains the parable of the prodigal son), and that it has been called “the gospel in a gospel”, as if it contains the very essence of the good news that Jesus came to tell. Jesus Himself said in Luke 19:10 “I have come to seek out and to save the lost”.
Pharisaic law commanded that the Pharisees kept themselves separate from “sinners” who didn’t adhere to the the petty details of the law; mixing would defile them. They would have been shocked by Jesus’ behaviour. They believed that sinners should be punished, not valued and forgiven.
In Jesus’ day shepherds were personally responsible for the sheep. They were experts at tracking and finding a missing one. When a lost sheep was found and brought back to the village, the people would rejoice. Jesus taught that that is how God reacts when a sinner repents.
A Palestinian peasant’s house was dark. It was lit by one small, circular window about 45 centimetres across. The floor was beaten earth, covered with dried reeds and rushes. It would be very difficult and time consuming to find a lost coin. The coin in the parable may have been needed to buy food, or may have been part of a wedding head-dress (made of 10 silver coins linked together by a silver chain); how happy she would have been when she found it.
In these parables, Jesus taught that God doesn’t write off a lost sinner. He loves and values the lost, He searches for them and rejoices greatly when they are found.
FINAL PRAYER F.W. Faber
Let us thank God for His great love for us.
Souls Of Men, Why Will Ye Scatter Like A Crowd Of Frightened Sheep? Foolish Hearts, Why Will Ye Wander From A Love So True And Deep?
Was There Ever Kindest Shepherd Half So Gentle, Half So Sweet, As The Saviour Who Would Have Us Come And Gather Round His Feet?
There Is Welcome For The Sinner, And More Graces For The Good; There Is Mercy With The Saviour; There Is Healing In His Blood.
For The Love Of God Is Broader Than The Measure Of Man’s Mind. And The Heart Of The Eternal Is Most Wonderfully Kind.