2 Samuel 6-8 Luke 15:1-10
“Suppose a woman has ten silver coins, but loses one. She will light a lamp, sweep the house, and look carefully for the coin until she finds it.” (Luke 15:8)
I’d heard a story once about the significance of having those ten silver coins that I wanted to share today. Only, I couldn’t find the verification. As I looked for that story, I found many other interesting commentaries on the importance of those coins – usually spiritualizing the story with references to the church. I don’t know if that’s what Jesus had in mind, though. The premise of the story is simple. A woman has ten coins that she’s been saving. She loses one. Maybe she’d taken them out to look at them and one fell through the cracks of the table when she wasn’t looking. Coins are sneaky that way. When she realized that one of the coins was lost, she set off the alarm bells and does everything she can to find it, even cleaning the house. Once she finds it, the rejoicing begins as she makes sure everyone she knows hears the story.
There are two things I’ve never done with lost money. First, I’ve never cleaned the house to look for it. I’m too lazy to do that. I figure I’ll find it eventually. As one of the commentators noted about this situation, though, a coin that might stand out on a dirt floor will soon begin to blend in because of the dust that attaches itself to the coin. It might get buried. Second, I’ve never made a big deal about it with friends and neighbors. Those two things make me think that Jesus was alluding to a cultural practice with ten coins that His listeners would understand. The story I was looking for, but couldn’t find, placed this in the context of the coins being a dowry that would be needed for marriage. This would explain the woman’s frantic search if it were true. To understand Jesus’s meaning, we need to recognize that the woman in this story represents God. There are people who’ve fallen through the cracks of life and have fallen to the floor. Since coins can’t move, and thus can’t search for God, God Himself must search for the coin, or, as noted, God must search for these people who’ve been lost. And God does search for us. He sends His love to those who’ve fallen by the wayside. He uses those who know and love Him to be His lamps and His brooms to find people who need to know His love and grace. Get this. Once He finds someone who needs His grace and He gives that grace to them, He has a great celebration. As far as I know, our current president doesn’t rejoice when I send in my tax return. Some nameless IRS employee files it. God, the Creator of the Universe, the One who keeps the Universe running, will stop His work and join the heavenly party when someone new enters the Kingdom of God. What an amazing God we serve! The greatest gift we can give God is the gift of sharing our love for Him so that others will follow.
Lord, it’s time to light the lamps and sweep the house. Give me the wisdom and the boldness to know who to share Your love with and how to do it. Then let me share Your love with those who need it.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.