One of my favorite bloggers, Lore Ferguson of the blog Sayable, has taken a sabbatical from her writing for the month of May, and asked me to write a couple of guest posts on her site about grace. My first one is up today; the second will be up tomorrow (Update: the second post is up). Feel free to read my and comment there. And be sure to follow her blog. She’s an amazing writer that can find God and beauty in the most seemingly mundane of things. Here’s a taste of my post today (it touches on some similar ideas as yesterday’s post):
Pharisees grumble: why do you eat with sinners?
He tells them a story about a lost coin and the joy one has when they find it. He then goes on to tell similar stories about a lost lamb and a lost son.
We love to jump from the coin to the lamb and the son, but Jesus says something very interesting between those sections. He reminds the Pharisees of a central truth to the heart of God:
“there is more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine persons who need no repentance.” (lk15.7)
Did you catch that? He doesn’t say: “there’s more joy over one sinner who repents over ninety-nine that do not repent.” He focuses not on our action, but on our need.
It seems there is more joy in the heart of God over his creation needing forgiveness than if it had never needed forgiveness at all. God takes joy in forgiving and being gracious, but this implies there needs to be sin to graciously forgive.
Perhaps our sin can be good news to God.