[Jesus said] “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
The Importance of One
Our congregation will soon be observing a Welcome Home Sunday. We hope to have all of our members come together for a festive day of worship and encouragement in God’s Word. We also hope that those who might have strayed from God’s church will come back and experience God’s love and forgiveness with us, as well as the blessing of a Christian community.
As a way of preparing for Welcome Home Sunday, we recently studied Jesus’ parables in Luke, chapter 15. A keen observation that one of our members made was the importance of one.
In Jesus’ stories, one sheep out of ninety-nine was lost; one coin out of ten went missing; one son left home to disown his family and squander his wealth. But that one was worth going after. That one was worth searching for. That one was worth waiting for with eager anticipation.
Jesus tells us, “There is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
This means that when God leads you from unbelief to faith, from sin to repentance, from straying to returning, God and his angels rejoice over you! Your soul—as small and unimportant as it may feel at times in this big world—matters to God! Nothing brings God greater joy than to forgive your sins and welcome you home!
The importance of one also makes a difference as we think about others. In love, we want sinners to turn to the Lord in humble faith and receive his forgiveness. So we pray for them. We reach out to them. We invite them. How discouraging it can be when it seems like our work is wasted. Hours of care and prayer may show little or no outward results.
But God works in hearts through his Word. And, there is rejoicing over everyone who turns back to the Lord. So, do not lose heart. We who have been loved and found can boldly love and seek others and then rejoice over each one who comes home to their Savior.
Jesus, you rejoice over me. Give me your heart to rejoice over all who repent. Amen.