I would call it a weakness in me, but every time I hear the story of the shepherd who leaves the 99 sheep to search after the lost sheep, I cannot help but think of the poor economics at work. Why leave the 99, 99 percent of your flock, for one sheep who may have already been killed by a wolf. Truth is, the gospel is not always logical. It is not logical for a God of justice to temper that with mercy. It is an act of love. And searching out the lost sheep is a completely different story when I am the one God is seeking. Use this season of advent to allow yourself to be found by God.
I always felt it might be a little economically foolish to leave 99% of your investments to go off in search of 1%. And yet, Jesus does just that. And in some ways, when there is one missing thing, we can obsess over it. Think of getting a 99 on a test. Isn’t it the case that a lot of time is spent thinking about the one wrong answer, and not the 99 we got right? For the sheep, the 99 were in the presence of the shepherd. They did not need to be found, because they were already. The story is quite different if we think of it from the point of view of the lost. When we are the one who strays from Jesus, we are very grateful that he always seeks us out.