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Matthew 18:12-13 NRSV

What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray.

I sometimes look at these verses and think, “well, I’ve been Christian pretty much my whole life, so I guess I’m one of the 99. God doesn’t rejoice much over me.” It’s easy to start thinking that way, at least for me. I fall into satan’s trap, believing that I don’t matter to God. I’m one of the crowd, one of the many faithful, and my ongoing loyalty doesn’t account for much, really.

But the truth is, I’m not one of the 99. I’m the one percent! I go astray all the time. I might not ditch my faith, but I sin, and God has to come and lead me back every time. It’s not much different than how I tend to wander off when I’m shopping in Target with my husband – and yes, it drives him crazy. But he calls me to find out where I am. God does that, too, although He doesn’t have to find out where I am. He knows. He just has to get my attention. And sometimes I’m not very receptive to it.

But He draws me back in. He calls me to repentance  And when that happens, all of heaven is rejoicing over me! That’s amazing, and it reminds me that God sees me and calls me by name, and adds, “you are MY CHILD! I love you!”