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Posted by St. Alban's Episcopal Church on August 30, 2022 at 3:20 PM

Much has been written about the sense of loss that many feel about the events of the last few years. It hardly seems possible that it has been 2 ½ years since the majority of us first heard of the word COVID. So much loss and pain, but yet, we have learned so much: not only about a disease, but about ourselves and our world. Many, perhaps the majority of people in our midst, escaped the worst of the illness and financial pain brought on by the pandemic. However, there are those who have suffered and continue to suffer from these challenges. What should be done to help these people? Or, is it enough that the majority of the folks we know are ‘fine’? While looking at the upcoming readings to choose music for September, the Gospel reading for Sept. 11th(Luke 15:1-10) struck me as very relevant to looking at the inequity in our world in a new way. Although the parable contrasts the ninety-nine who are righteous with the one who needs repentance, I believe it also can open our eyes to needs we may have not seen before. In this passage Jesus replies with a parable to the criticism that he “welcomes sinners and eats with them.” The gist of the parable is that God is not content to just say that 99 out of a hundred sheep are safe, and write off the last one. Jesus says it is that one that is lost that he(and WE) should be most concerned about. Below is the text of a hymn, inspired in part by the passage from Luke 15, that speaks of celebrating the return of the lost and the joy of those being restored to wholeness. I hope it will speak the Good News of the Gospel to you.


Peace----John

A Long-Lost Lamb


A long-lost lamb is in the fold, a woman’s coin retrieved, a wayward son is home again, most lovingly received. The little man who climbed a tree has found a friend at last, a woman with her cup of tears has put behind her past. The fisherman who turned away receives another chance, a Pharisee has seen the light and mourns his arrogance. Let everyone who suffers now from guilt and deep despair return unto the house of God, for love awaits you there. Good News! It’s time to celebrate with friends who gather round. So, God rejoices, Jesus said, whenever the lost is found!

 

Words: Mary Nelson Keithahn © 1996 Abingdon Press. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

 

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