[The restoration of friendship and fellowship after estrangement]
(Luke 15:6&7) “…..Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says. ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
A couple of days ago, I was sitting with my wife in the afternoon watching a Hallmark movie. The story was about a young lady who had obsessively followed after her career forsaking her high school best friend and high school boy friend. Years after high school, she returned to her home town. As the story progressed, she came to recognize her failures regarding her friends. Through repentance and apologies her high school friends forgave her. So the story ended with the restoration of friendship and fellowship after a period of estrangement.
Why am I sharing my reaction to this story? At the end of the story, I was quite emotional. Sometimes this is attributed to me being a male over fifty; however, the emotions were real even though I was watching actors in a movie. It seems to me that humans love to see an act of reconciliation. I certainly do. I experience joy and gladness when people overcome their differences and are reunited.
Take for example the feelings you experience when you lead someone in a sinners prayer. The few times I have had the opportunity to lead someone to the Lord, I experienced joy, gladness, and even elation when they received Jesus. I was sharing in a person’s reconciliation with their creator. An amazing and wonderful event was taking place.
Our scripture from Luke is part of Jesus’ parable about the Lost Sheep. He points out that in heaven there is an emotional, joyful response to a person’s reconciliation with the Father. God loves his children, and for each of us isn’t it wonderful to know that on our day of salvation all heaven rejoiced at our reconciliation.