Thursday, November 4, 2010

Divine imprudence

The Gospel for today is one that has often puzzled me. Why would a shepherd leave all his sheep in the desert to go look for the lost one? Wouldn't it be a better idea to leave them in the sheepfold? And why does the woman call together everyone she knows after she finds the coin? I recall a different Gospel writer or a different translation which said of this parable that she had a party when she found the lost coin--and probably spent more than the value of the coin on the party celebrating its return. It's just so imprudent of that shepherd and that woman.

It occurred to me a few months ago that maybe that's the point. Maybe we're supposed to come away from this with the realization that God will not search for us only when it's economically feasible. He does not seek to get back from us what he spent finding us. If anything, he risks all his fortune solely for us.

Why? Because he loves us so much that we're worth it.

I give Egypt as your ransom,
Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you.
Because you are precious in my eyes,
and honored, and I love you.
~Isaiah 43:3-4

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