This week’s post is late, partly because I’m on vacation, but also because I have had some struggles settling into a place of blessing in this week’s gospel reading.
It should be easy: we love the idea that God would gladly leave behind ninety-nine of you to come and find me whenever I am lost. I am, after all, that special.
But if I am the sheep, then I am also the lost coin; currency; lost between the sofa cushions of the universe, fallen out of God’s apron pockets when She wasn’t paying attention. To me.
You see the problem.*
On the other hand, Paul has a perfect blessing nestled into his letter to Timothy this week. Perhaps that will help.
May you set out from here secure in God’s faithfulness and love;
may you find reassurance at each turning, looking to the cross of Jesus to point your way;
may resounding joy always accompany your homecoming;
and when you do find yourself lost, may the overwhelming grace of God sweep you back to where you belong,
redeemed, restored, beloved. Amen.
* For inspiration and wisdom in working through the allegorization and de-same of the parables, I recommend reading Amy-Jill Levine, Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi (HarperCollins, 2014)