Introduction to the readings for the seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost,
Welcoming Sunday, September 11, 2016
Our readings this morning paint a vivid picture of a God whose persistent love is as diligent as that of a shepherd caring for his sheep or a woman managing her household.
Listen for how these familiar stories might surprise or cause you to wonder about such an extravagant and hospitable love as this on the occasion of our annual Welcoming Sunday here at Knox.
Reading from the author of the gospel of Luke, Chapter 15, verses 1-10:
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
Now all the tax collectors and the sinners were coming near to listen to Jesus. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
So he told them this parable: “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?
When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices.
And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbours, saying to them ‘Rejoice with me, for I have just found my sheep that was lost.’
Just 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.
The Parable of the Lost Coin
Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it?
When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbours, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost’
Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
For the word of God in scripture, for the word of God among us, for the word of God within us, thanks be to God!
Harper Collins Study Bible, New Standard Revised Version,
Copyright 1989, HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.