By: Nicole Gonzalez
Readings: Exodus 32:7-14; Luke 15:1-10; Psalm 32
It’s easy to pick out the corruption that happens in our world today. Across our country and the globe, injustices occur everyday, and even within ourselves we find deceit and sin. Surely we are prone to wander away from God when it often feels like we can’t even see God through the pain and suffering. But our texts today remind us that wandering and pain is not the end of the story.
In Luke, Jesus tells his disciples these two well known parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin (later followed by the lost son). These stories have many essential things in common, but by far my favorite is the rejoicing. At the conclusion of each tale, after searching for and finding their lost possessions, both the shepherd and the woman call to their friends and neighbors to share in celebration: “Rejoice with me! I have found what was lost.”
I often struggle with the hardships and darkness that exist in the world. The corruption and the idolatry that persists, as it did in Moses day with the Israelites and the golden calf, have every right to make God angry. But again, this is not the end of the story. Moses intercedes and reminds God of the promises he made to His people.
And now it is Jesus who intercedes for us. With the ultimate demonstration of love and sacrifice, pain and suffering never get the last word. When we show resilience and faithfulness, when we come together as the Church and share God’s love and light, there is rejoicing! And the rejoicing is shared in the entire community of God’s children. Looking to this joy of true love, forgiveness, and grace, you will no longer be found in the darkness, but instead in the arms of Christ. Let the Shepherd carry you back home on his shoulders.
Our Heavenly Shepherd, help us be resilient in the face of trials and injustices. Root us in your faithfulness and love so that we can truly celebrate together in your abundant good works in the world. Amen