Luke 15:1-7 NRSVue

1Now 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? 5And when 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 lost sheep.’ 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.

Some thoughts on this scripture

The scribes and Pharisees resented the fellowship that Jesus had with other people - it came between them and accepting a new relationship with God. I pray that I may not be distracted by the benefits that other people enjoy, but that I may hear myself called into friendship with God who wants to spend time with me.

The joy of the shepherd did not end in the discovery of the sheep that was lost; he wanted to share his joy at by celebrating with others. I give thanks to God for the opportunities I have had to share with others what really matters to me. I give thanks to God for those who share their lives with me.

I may be downcast and disheartened when I know myself to be a sinner. I listen for the voice of God who rejoices at my repentance.