Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Hunting for hidden treasure is an exciting proposition. Most people would love to find a treasure map with instructions for finding a treasure trove. In reality, it isn’t that easy, but for a different reason than we might expect. Our Gospel reading has two parables which seem rather unrelated to the introductory complaint of the Pharisees. In Luke 15:1-2 the Pharisees were bothered because Jesus would eat with sinners. In response, Jesus told two illustrative stories about someone going to a lot of trouble to find something which had been neglected and misplaced.
I think in our society the lost coin illustrates this very well. Then again, we may want to consider the coin more carefully. A silver coin at the time of Jesus was normally a very small coin. Those I have seen are mostly about one-fourth the size of a dime. It’s really a little piece of something. If a woman had several silver coins it would probably be a dowry or something she wanted to save back for her children. This would be put away somewhere safe and possibly not be touched for years. Over time the silver would tarnish. In dim lifht it would be easy for a small, tarnished coin to appear like a bit of dirt or something else which could be tracked into a house. To find the lsot coin, the woman would have to examine any number of things which were worthless. The treasure is there, but it looks like trash.
Jesus was criticized for visiting with “sinners.” Maybe the town drunk, maybe the arrogant and abusive people, maybe a prostitute or a government official. It makes little difference who. These people appear lost and may seem to belong on the refuse heap. Yet Jesus treats them as treasures. This should give us great encouragement. We are among those sinner with whom Jesus would dine. He calls us a treasure worth seeking, finding, and even worth giving his life so we could be reconciled to God. Jesus has sought us out. Thanks be to God.
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