“Be merciful just as your Father is merciful.” Chapter 15 of Luke, “The Lost and Found Section” is uniquely Lucan with its narrative of three lost entities: a sheep, a coin, and a son. We all lose things (think car keys, remote controls, etc.). We all know the sense of joy and relief that comes with finding them. Jesus’ three stories tell us that God is always looking for us, waiting for our return. The lost will be found because God will keep looking for them. Yet, only those who come to recognize their need to be found will return (Prodigal Son: “He came to his senses…”)
Interspersed throughout the stories are references to rejoicing and to the fact that all in heaven celebrate when sinners who are lost are found: those dead in sin. God is extravagantly merciful: God is irrational in His forgiveness. Can you accept such a love? Or will you refuse such a love and find yourself on the outside looking in (elder son in the Prodigal Son) while forgiven sinners revel in God’s mercy?