“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 neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have 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.” - Luke 15:3-7
Last week as Pastor Caleb preached about our temptation to unfollow Jesus at various points in our lives, I kept thinking of a parable Jesus told about the lost sheep. In this parable, one sheep has strayed away from the other ninety-nine. The shepherd is not like many other shepherds. Instead of being happy with the ninety-nine that he had, he goes out searching until he finds that lost sheep. Celebrating he returns it to the others. As we continue to remember Easter, we also remember how Christ gave everything he had out of love for us. Christ doesn’t think he has enough people who follow him already and ignore those who’ve decided to unfollow. Even when we wander away from the herd, Christ doesn’t stop reaching out to us. Calling us back to his love. This is the promise that we see fulfilled in Christ’s resurrection at Easter. The promise that each one of us is so important to God, we are worth everything to be saved.