Sunday, September 15, 2019
24th Sunday in Ordinary Time/Proper 19/14th Sunday after Pentecost
First Reading: Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28
Second Reading: I Timothy 1:12-17
Gospel Reading: Luke 15:1-10
The liturgical color for the day is: Green
Would we do those things? Would we go to that effort for one lost sheep and one lost coin? Hardly.
But these are not stories about us and about what we would do. And it is not really even a story about a shepherd and a woman. No—it is more of a story about God. It is about what God would do. It is about what God does. It is about who God is—this is what God does!
Do you see the extravagance in the stories of the lost sheep and the lost coin? There is in them a going well beyond…there is in them a going to the extreme…there is in them a going the extra mile to find the lost—and then the rejoicing and celebration that comes along with it. To us, one sheep would hardly be worth all that. To God, one sheep is worth all that and more.
We are that one sheep.
According to these stories—both the shepherd and the woman celebrate when they find their respective lost treasures. The image is of a party; a banquet; a celebration.
God is celebrating; holding a banquet; rejoicing; thrilled—when we respond in faith. God takes delight in us—and what we are as we live as Children of the Living God.
God loves us beyond our reason. Beyond all, God is seeking after us. God is inviting us to the celebration of love.
Extravagant. Seeking. Celebrating. That is God.
And when we are in that place—when that is the God we meet it is this strangely familiar territory because that is how we were created to be.
Rev. Dr. Daris Bultena
General Presbyter and Stated Clerk