The Lost Sheep

 

Luke 15:3-7

3 So he told them this parable: 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, `Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.’ 7 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.

Behind the Message

At times there seems to be a lot of fear from the authors of the New Testament. In this parable that seems to be the case. The fear behind the writing seems to come from what the author is telling himself; that there must be repentance from wrong doing in order to connect with the Divine, with God. To communicate this story the author describes the rejoicing that occurs when a lost sheep is found (apparently by God). To the author it seems that his strategy to find comfort in his search for God is to believe he has be found and he is valuable because he has been looked for and found even though he was a “sinner” who was pretty worthless before being found.

Empathic Translation

So again, Jesus spoke to them in a parable. The greatest need we have is to contribute to one another. As we contribute to others, we meet our need to contribute, but also give opportunity to the other person to receive. When this occurs we are in connection with and present with the Divine. Since this is true, who would not want to “find” someone who was “missing”, or contribute to someone who was lost, disconnected. When we give from the heart we are sharing the Divine with one another – this is Presence, this is Divine. You see, when this happens it does not happen out of fear of retribution, there is no need for repentance, there is connection to the Divine that is within all of us.   When this happens there is rejoicing, there is celebration, there is life at its fullest. Heaven rejoices! What is amazing about this connection is that all can do it, all can give it away – when we are connected we are in “heaven.”

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