Lenten Reader | Day 22


Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

- Luke 15:1-7
Am I part of the 99 in the pasture? Am I the 1 who has wandered away?

When reading Scripture, I love to put myself in the story and attempt to see it from the various perspectives. I believe this helps me be more compassionate and hopefully gain a fuller idea of what Jesus was teaching through the parable.

If you are one of the ninety-nine, be careful! It’s easy to get frustrated when life seems unfair. You have been faithful, followed the rules, stayed close to the shepherd. That other sheep didn’t listen and wandered away! But here comes the shepherd, running around gushing to his neighbors about how happy he is to have the wanderer back.

You, however, have been in his presence this whole time. You haven’t had to deal with the dark, scary night by yourself. You have heard his voice and felt his hand on you when threats to your safety approach. You are loved.

If you are the one who has wandered away, be encouraged! The shepherd is looking for you. He is willing to leave everything in order to follow after you and bring you safely back to his flock.
Not only will he go as far as necessary, but he will not scold you when he finds you. Instead, he will pick you up, tend to your scrapes and bruises, and carry you home, rejoicing that you are again in his presence. You are loved.

Who are you in this story?

-Erin Allsop