Monday, March 07, 2016


Bart is a good preacher.  In fact, he is an excellent preacher.  But once in a while he knocks it out of the park, and yesterday was one of those days.  He did it not once, but twice.

In fact, as I sat down in Sunday School,  one of the men said,  “Is Bart doing something special or surprising this morning in worship?” And I said, “No, why?” He said , "Well more than one person told us on our way in that we were in for a real treat."

The text was the three parables that Jesus taught in Luke 15 when the pharisees were nagging him for hanging out with the tax collectors and the sinners.   I have heard so many sermons about this passage in my life -- probably dozens, but yesterday a couple thoughts were new to me.  It may be that these thoughts are ones that you have had many times and I'm just slow, but they were revelations to me.

The first is that I had never put into context these stories with the fact that Jesus was defending himself about who he hung out with.   That is pretty significant to the point of the stories.

But Bart said something yesterday that blew me away.  He said, "If you are one of the 99 it really isn't that important to you that the shepherd have a standard of 100%.    You don't really care that much, if you have already been found, if he is out looking for that last sheep.  But it matters completely if you are #100."

Wow.  How many times have I been like the Pharisees, completely secure in my position of one of the 99, not caring much whether or not Jesus heads out to seek and to save little lost #100?  How many times do we as Christians stop ourselves from thinking about number 100 and feel content in being part of the 99.

I guess I'm asking you today to look around your life and see who is number 100.  Who is the lonely one, the left out one, the forgotten one.  Who is on the margins of society, looking in, waiting for you to be Jesus to them -- to reach out and pull them into the fold.

It's a profound thought, brought to you from my man, who can preach. 

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