Written by Karen Thom

Luke 15:1-7 – “Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

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.”

Now this is not one of your normal “Christmas” scriptures, but I’m now reminded of it each year. For those of us who have lost something before, all of the Parables of the Lost things can really hit home.

It makes me think of our Christmas two years ago. We were celebrating at my sister’s house and preparing our big meal, when everything got put on hold. Rudy, our dog had come along for the day of celebrations. But he had taken off running after some deer in the woods and was lost. So, everything stopped. All preparation got put on hold. Food got covered and the stove was turned off. The younger kids got left with the grandparents. And the rest of the adults and older kids started looking. We spread out into neighborhood and back into the woods to search.

I had visions of us all having to camp out on my sister’s floor that night because there was NO way we were driving home from Christmas with 3 crying kids and no dog. We walked all over those woods, calling, and calling his name. Neighbors kept reporting sightings of his adventures of following a group of deer through the woods. Other families were getting ready with flashlights to join the hunt, when he was found just before dark. We all celebrated and spread the great news and then got back to figuring out what else had to be done in order to eat.  Rudy’s two-hour adventure seemed like it was an eternity, and we were all physically and emotionally exhausted, but grateful and at peace that he had been found.

Rudy’s adventure is now a little reminder to me at Christmas of how much more God calls out to us when we stray from him on our own adventures. His love for each of us is so much stronger and he is always there calling us back. He loves every single one of us so much. Help us remember to not leave even one person out. God came into this world as a little baby so many years ago as an act of love for me, and for you, and for every person we meet.

If you miss any of our daily readings, you can find them archived here. (Readings will be added each day.) We hope these readings will help you encounter God this season!