Lost, and found again – 13th Sunday after Trinity 2022
Jesus tells the parable of the hundred sheep, the ninety-nine in the shepherd’s care and the one who has wandered away and become lost.
The Pharisees and the scribes were quite certain, totally reassured, without any doubt, that they were the ninety-nine and that those of whom they so readily disapproved were the lost. No doubt there are some Christians today, equally convinced that they stand in the full and enduring glow of God’s approval, that they are the elect, the favoured ones, the ones who are certain and guaranteed and secure. But if we are honest, and have true spiritual humility, which of us, can be in any doubt that oftentimes we are in fact the one? Hoping against hope to be found – calling out here I am, please find me – bring me home!
Lent is a pilgrimage, a journey into, perhaps, previously uncharted territory and not always the most comfortable of places. But in all the talk of repentance during Lent, we should also remember that the word in its Greek and Hebrew roots means much more than simply feeling sorry.
It was G.K Chesterton who wrote: The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult, and left untried.
The prophets tell us that it is the duty of the people of God to care about and be advocates for those who are poor and powerless – and Jesus’ first concern was for those who were the most vulnerable and had no voice.
We like to form a pattern of the world, a mental map of how things work, why they happen, an explanation of the way the world works, and why. We tend to seek explanations for new things according to the old ways.
Generally, it can serve us well.
It makes our world feel more constant, more predictable, less random and unstable – it also cuts down on mental processing time – we can assume certain constants, and concentrate on what is changing before our eyes.