“Now all the tax-gatherers and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him.”
Sluts and mutts and stealers and concealers,
Tricksters and fixers and schemers and dreamers,
Mobs and slobs and rabbles and rousers,
Push past the ones in ivory towers
to get close to Holiest of Holy.
“And both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying,
“This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
Yes. Jesus does.
Then He tells a story.
About a lost sheep and how a man leaves the rest of his flock behind to get the one that wandered into the thistles and brambles and how he won’t let it walk back, most likely because it’s beat up pretty badly. Then the man drapes the sheep’s body over his shoulders and now the man is grinning. Rejoicing, even, which means his laughter is probably echoing like crazy throughout the canyon.
When the man gets home, he tells all his friends and neighbors that he found his precious sheep because he wants them to have as much joy and face-hurting grinning as he is having in that moment.
Then Jesus dares to say this sort of thing happens in heaven, this gut-busting joy, when one…ONE!… scoundrel turns towards Him and repents.
There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
Who says God is not happy?
This is how it is with us.
When we are lost and Jesus finds us, we are lifted up and carried, broken, beaten, forgiven.
And when we’ve been set on our feet again, there is joy and laughing…so much laughing.
Amazing grace, indeed.
“Joy is the serious business of heaven.” -C.S. Lewis