8th January 2011

Has The Penny Dropped?

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbours together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Luke 15:8-10 (NIV UK)

The phrase “the penny dropped” is used often to signify suddenly understanding something that was not previously understood.

In the parable above a woman loses a coin. It may not seem significant at all. From time to time I come across a coin that I have lost in the house, and I had not even noticed it was missing.

 A long time ago I heard a sermon about this story. It equated the coin to the truth, and suggested that lost truth was well worth searching for. That may be true, but I don’t think the underlying point is to do with an abstract notion. Rather this is an exciting parable that explains how much God values each and every one of us.

It is interesting that the coin does nothing to be found. It is not by dint of its own effort that it is recovered. It just lies wherever it is, doing absolutely nothing. Sound familiar? Even though the parable talks about one sinner who repents, the coin actually does nothing to restore itself. All the diligence and all the effort is on the part of the woman, who is the “God” figure in the story. That is what grace is all about. We do and did nothing, and still God saves us.

So this parable has a lot to tell us. Maybe there are still times when we go missing in God’s house. Even when we do, we remain in the house. God reaches out and picks us up even though he has other children.  All his children are special to him and each child is the recipient of his grace.

You are precious to God.

Do we get it? Has “the penny dropped”?

Wonderful father, Lord God Almighty, thank you for your grace. Thank you that just like the coin in the parable, I did nothing and yet you sought me out and saved me. In Jesus name.

Study by James Henderson 

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