01 October 2010

Today’s Reading: Zechariah 13-14; Psalm 147; Luke 15


1 By this time a lot of men and women of doubtful reputation were hanging around Jesus, listening intently. 2 The Pharisees and religion scholars were not pleased, not at all pleased. They growled, “He takes in sinners and eats meals with them, treating them like old friends.” 3 Their grumbling triggered this story… 8 “Or imagine a woman who has ten coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and scour the house, looking in every nook and cranny until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it you can be sure she’ll call her friends and neighbors: ‘Celebrate with me! I found my lost coin!’ 10 Count on it—that’s the kind of party God’s angels throw every time one lost soul turns to God.” (Luke 15:1-3, 8-10 MSG)

In Luke 15 Jesus tells three stories about something lost and found; a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son. Verse three makes it clear that the telling of these stories was triggered by the judgmental, devaluing attitude of the Pharisees and the religion scholars against sinners – people of “doubtful reputation.”

The story of the lost coin really spoke to me this morning. The woman searched diligently for the lost coin because it was valuable. It wasn’t just that she felt affection for it. It had actual, intrinsic value. It would have been valuable to anyone who had it. Its value prompted her search when it was lost and her rejoicing when it was found.

The lost items in the three stories represent lost people – lost individuals. The point in the lost coin story is that every coin has value. It wasn’t that nine of the coins had value, but this one didn’t have value, so, “Oh well, I guess it’s gone. But it doesn’t matter because it wasn’t really worth anything!” The point of application is that every person has value. Those who are in the Master’s hand have value. Those who are not in the Master’s hand also have equal value. Not just value for what they can do or produce, but value simply for who they are.

You and I have value. We’re valuable to God. We’re valuable because we’re us. We’re valuable because we’re valuable to God.


Father, Please help me to value every person I see today, not because of their appearance, behavior, or performance, but for who they are – valued by you. And help me to remember that you value me, too! Amen.

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