Pentecost +16 Sunday – C4
All is G*D's, presumably, and all is intended to be found whole - worth a party.
It is possible to see a lost sheep as both lost and mine and intended to stay lost. A Scapegoat sent to the wilderness is an example of this. Its lostness is its vocation. Finding this lost one is counterproductive because it brings the sins we sent away back again. To walk away from a congregation and leave it in a wilderness is to acknowledge sin abides and is our problem - is not deniable or identifiable as being on one person or group that is unacknowledged. Here we might begin to think it acceptable to not go and look for lost Iraqis or illegal aliens or ... that "Americans" might be safe. However, the illusion of safety is, when looked at from the location of the "Shepherd", is just that - an illusion.
The 99 % are in a wilderness too deep to be seen as wilderness while they ignore or affirm through tortured logic the inevitability or fate of another deemed more lost.
If the Pharisees and scribes thought their grumbling might bring Jesus to his senses and see the error of his ways - you ought to turn some of those coming to you away and not associate with them - they got a story that essentially says, "Oh yeah? Well I not only welcome these you call lost, but I deliberately leave you behind and go in search of them. Remember what I said about hating family to find G*D? Well, you are family in this case and I am continuing to search for G*D beyond your illusionary boundaries. And, guess what, I am finding real rejoicing in this search."
Not only are people being lost away from families, individuals from congregations, but tithes as well. Suppose the tenth coin was lost in the "Lord's House". How might we dare to search for the results of sacrificial giving to see that it is not lost? Dare we question what is done with it and reclaim it?
Whether lost in an empty place or a holy place, being found is a celebratory event.
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