I know some people who refuse to deal in small change. One and two pence pieces are just so inconsequential, they’re not really worth anything.
And yet everything has a value, and there is the saying,
If you look after the pennies, the pounds will look after themselves
I think Jesus would approve of that…
15 Tax collectors and sinners were all crowding around to listen to Jesus. 2 So the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law of Moses started grumbling, “This man is friendly with sinners. He even eats with them.”
3 Then Jesus told them this story:
4 If any of you has a hundred sheep, and one of them gets lost, what will you do? Won’t you leave the ninety-nine in the field and go look for the lost sheep until you find it? 5 And when you find it, you will be so glad that you will put it on your shoulder 6 and carry it home. Then you will call in your friends and neighbors and say, “Let’s celebrate! I’ve found my lost sheep.”
7 Jesus said, “In the same way there is more happiness in heaven because of one sinner who turns to God than over ninety-nine good people who don’t need to.”
8 Jesus told the people another story:
What will a woman do if she has ten silver coins and loses one of them? Won’t she light a lamp, sweep the floor, and look carefully until she finds it? 9 Then she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, “Let’s celebrate! I’ve found the coin I lost.”
10 Jesus said, “In the same way God’s angels are happy when even one person turns to him.”
An individual sheep and an individual coin have their worth. They are worth searching for if they are lost. Ninety-nine sheep are not more valuable than just one, because each of those 99 is an individual one. It does not have value just as part of a crowd, but as its individual self.
One coin is not of no importance is you still have another nine. No the group of ten is incomplete without its final member.
To Jesus, each and every person is valuable. Whether they are part of a crowd, wandered off or got themselves lost – they matter to him.
And that is not just abstract, it’s personal. That means each and every one of us. You, me, the person we sit next to on the bus, the person pushing and shoving in the queue, the person waiting next to us in the doctors in fear and trepidation, the person struggling to carry their bag up the road, the person asleep in a doorway, the person shouting and keeping us awake… The list could go on. Every person, whether we love them, are frustrated by them or are scared by their behaviour, yes even me – each and every one of us is special to God. He would notice if we were missing and would drop everything to come looking for us.
That is how much he loves us, how much he cares for us – and no one is excluded.
Thank you Lord
for how precious each one of us is to you.
Thank you that you care enough
to notice when we are missing
and come to seek us out.
Thank you that each and every individual
is important to you,
not just part of the crowd.
Thank you that you want to bring us all home.
help me not to be elusive,
but to allow myself to be found,
to come when you call,
to return to your care