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November 5, 2015

The Good News for today

Jesus reminds us of the pleasure of finding something lost, like a wandered-away sheep: ‘Share my happiness, a shepherd says, when I have found my lost sheep.’ Jesus continues: “I am telling you, that same way there will be more thrill in the realm of what’s right over a single wandering offender who changes direction than over ninety-nine righteous people who sense no need to change their lives. (Luke 15)

Many, maybe most, adults know the important thing is to keep growing up—to keep discovering how much you have wandered. You are always being born to a new stage of life. You are constantly finding your way back to your shortcomings, to accepting challenging truth–always a caterpillar turning into a butterfly.

Sometimes it involves the courage to admit mistakes and sins. You might prefer a flawed safety of where you have been. But the call, as in yesterday’s Good News, is to abandon the deceptive “good” life, to “hate” the way you understood your family, and “disown” what you got earlier. It may be an outlook that made sense once, but now seems self-deceptions, absurd inconsistencies, and denials of truth.

Sometimes it is just admitting ignorance, acknowledging—with a sharp realization—that you don’t know everything—and you may be wrong about some fundamentals. Sometimes it is realizing, admitting and confessing the sin of arrogantly trying to control others. Sometimes it is the breakthrough that you are a lost sheep.

The Good News is awakening to your need to repent constantly, to keep finding your way back to God—to be both shepherd and sheep returning to the fold. The fold is Life—your life shoulder to shoulder with others, active in caring for one another.

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