The Party In Heaven
“ ... there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance."
~ Jesus, (NAB, Luke 15:7b)
Image courtesy of Christoper Mitchell.
Today's Gospel reading (Luke 15:1-10) contained the verse listed above. As I listened to the priest read the evangelist's words, my mind wandered to Lizzie Schmidt, the protagonist in my novel, Tangled Violets: A Novel of Redemption.
One of the "dangers" of writing fiction is that our characters take on a life of their own in the author's mind and, if we are successful in our craft, to some degree, in the mind of our readers. I imagined all the real Lizzies out there, who have been brought back into the Father's arms through the mercy and sacrifice of His Son. I thought of those still wandering and lost, waiting for our outstretched arms.
Do we remember to pray for the lost sheep in our world, so mired in their sin and shame that they feel they have no place in our company or houses of worship? Let us pray that we can become beacons of love and encouragement instead of judgment and disdain. Let us model the embrace of the Good Shephard who leaves the ninety-nine to bring that single lost sheep back into His fold. Let us remember that the Church is a hospital for sinners, and we are all patients.
Let us remember that the Church is a hospital for sinners, and we are all patients.
Earlier in Gospel, Luke writes that a Pharisee, complains that Jesus "welcomes sinners and eats with them." I could help but recall the Amazon review of a particular reader:
As an author, it is incredibly gratifying when someone "gets" the message of our book. For those that take the time to write even a few words, know that you are appreciated.