This is my article that was published in the Wednesday edition of The Natoma-Luray Independent of The Russell County News; and in the Thursday edition of The Plainville Times.
Read St. Luke 15:8-10
When I was 9 or 10 years old (or somewhere near that) I found what I thought to be the absolute rarest coin on the planet. A 1976 Bicentennial Quarter!
Some of you are probably laughing at that right now. As am I.
But at the time, I could not recall ever seeing one, and I thought the coin was worth millions.
Oh how I treasured that coin; I stared at its design for hours, studying it, wondering what this Bicentennial year was all about and why they had changed the coins to celebrate it.
Of course, you are probably laughing at me because you know how common these quarters are; as do I now. I have found them to be so common, that sometimes I do not even bother keeping them anymore, and just spend them, or roll them up and send them to the bank.
What I once thought was rare beyond all human comprehension, turned out to be more common than I ever imagined. The quarter was not worth millions, it was instead worth just a quarter. It was unique, but not as unique as I had first thought.
I draw this picture out for you to illustrate how we can grow board with things when they become common. If we have one of something, it is rare and treasured; two and it is nice to have a spare; three or more, and it becomes a burden.
And yet, Jesus tells us that when a sinner repents, it is as though it were the first time all over again.
Think of how many sinners have repented in the history of the world. It is a lot of people; more than two or three, but billions upon billions. But each time, whether it is the first or the ten billionth, the angels of heaven rejoice as though it has never happened before.
Each sinner that repents is celebrated as though he or she were the first sinner to ever repent in the history of creation.
That is the joy that is reserved for the repentant sinner; whether you are the first or the last, the celebration for you is above and beyond what you deserve; yet it is what Jesus gives to you.
The joy that you feel when you find that lost toy; that lost tool; that lost earing; it pales in comparison to the joy that is experienced in heaven when a single sinner repents. That is the extent of Jesus love for you; the joy and celebration that you reserve for the only the most special of items, is far surpassed by the joy and celebration that Jesus has when you repent.