8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”
This parable is in the middle of two other parables -- the parables of the Lost Sheep and the Lost Son. Some argue they are not three parables but one parable.
It is interesting how the sheep, coin, and son get lost.
Sheep - The sheep got distracted. The sheep was was so preoccupied with eating grass that it got separated from the rest of the flock. We get busy and overwhelmed and then realize that we have become separated from God.
Coin - The coin was dropped. It was lost because of somebody else. We can be abused or mistreated. We find ourselves separated from God because of the neglect of others.
Son - He made his own poor choice. He thought life without the father would be better than life with the father. And he was wrong. Sometimes we become separated from God because of our own poor choices.
The word repent is metanoia which means to turn.
A - Application
An application is to meet people where they are. Many of us are a product of our environment. We live in a culture that champions busyness, we live in relationships that are dysfunctional, and we are imperfect and therefore make poor choices. As God's children we get to look for lost sheep, lost coins, and lost children. We also get to embrace them and encourage them to turn from despair to hope, from hate to love, and from sin to grace.
P - Prayer
Lord, help me to search for people who are separated from you and offer them your love. Also, keep me focused on you and help me make good decisions. Amen.