Honey's Heart Is Full
As Mom said, "my highest moments were when all my children were there." Her granddaughter and great granddaughter (and namesake) were in town during Honey's birthday. Mom went to my brother's to be with them and then the night before her birthday we all celebrated together at my house. The next day we would spend all day on the beach. Then Mike and I would go to my brothers and hang out and go to church together on Sunday. Mom loved having family together and it was obvious. I heard over and over, "my highest moments were when all my children were there."
I think that is how God feels. He loves for us all to be at His house (wherever it may be) together. He does not want one missing. The Parable of the Lost Sheep is one of the parables of Jesus. It appears in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. It is about a shepherd who leaves his flock of ninety-nine sheep in order to find the one which is lost. Luke 15:3–7, "Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent."
Jesus loves us so much that the shepherd wasn't mad at his sheep for straying. He had a compassionate heart and valued the sinners that His Father had entrusted Him with! John 6: 39, "And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day." While He was taking care of the sinners for His Father, He also loved them enough to sacrifice His life on the cross for the punishment for their sin.
I think about when my girls were toddlers and walked behind a rack of clothes in a store and I panicked because I could not see them. The relief when I saw them made me grab them and hug them but I also said, sternly, "do not do that. You scared me!" The parable does not say that they got "in trouble" or reprimanded. It says, "And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders..." He does not reprimand!
Another thing I have never thought about is that an adult sheep weighs around 110 to 125 pounds - a lot to lift and carry over one shoulder. The shepherd did not care - he was just joyous over finding the lost sheep - the weight was worth it! In the same way, Jesus bore the weight of our sin on the cross. He continues to bear our cares and burdens. 1 Peter 2:24-25, "'He himself bore our sins' in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; 'by his wounds you have been healed.' For 'you were like sheep going astray,' but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.'"
The parable does not stop there! "Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’" Because the lost sheep was found they had reason to celebrate! It was a big, big deal! And I don't think it was just the friends and neighbors celebrating! The parable ends with, "I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent." A sinner has come home! I believe Jesus' highest moments are when another child comes home! I also believe that Heaven knows it not as a one night party to celebrate but a joy, that is ongoing!