September 11, 2016: When God Rejoices
Chapter 15 of Luke's gospel has three parables about losses. First there is a 1% loss when one sheep of a hundred wanders away from the flock. Then there is a 10% loss when one of ten coins is lost in a house. And then there is a 50% loss when one of two sons wanders away and squanders his inheritance. It almost becomes a 100% loss when the older son refuses to join in the welcoming-home party.
All three parables ring with rejoicing when the lost are found. Not only do the shepherd and the woman and the father rejoice but also there is heavenly rejoicing. God rejoices! One Scripture scholar puts it this way: "God is crazy in love over each individual human being and rejoices exuberantly over finding one that had been lost" (Brendan Byrne, The Hospitality of God).
When have you felt lost or distant from God? When have you sensed God rejoicing over the lost being found?