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Lenten Reflections Project 2022

Wednesday | March 23 | Enoch Hsu

Luke 15:1-7

Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then Jesus told them this parable:  “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?  And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’  I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

As we are anticipating, waiting, and remembering Christ’s death and resurrection this year, I have a fairly different perspective in waiting and anticipating. For the past three months, I was here in Pasadena, my wife was in Hong Kong, while our daughter was in Sydney. With all the uncertainties in international travel and the COVID explosion in Asia, I was anticipating and longing for a family reunion. I was wondering when and where we will meet and under what circumstance? Being a planner, I can hardly function when I do not have control over my own plans or at least to set some reasonable expectations.

The search and rescue mission of Jesus Christ began in eternity past. Jesus came and spent his time with tax collectors and sinners so that God’s redeeming grace can reach us. Lenten is not simply for us to anticipate for Jesus’ death and resurrection. It is for our Creator God to anticipate Jesus’ redeeming grace reaching you and me. This anticipation began since eternal past. This push my anticipation for my family reunion into a different perspective, as God has been searching and anticipating for His ‘family’ to reunion.

Aside from the time element, this Luke passage presents a statistical aspect – percentage. It depicts the heavenly mindset in searching for the one percent. To a lot of us, one percent is an insignificant number in a population. In my mind, when I see that my work is ninety-nine percent done, I would consider that I have statistically completed my task and move on. One percent is often considered insignificant in most instances. But this is not how God works in saving us. God’s redemptive plan is to search till the last one percent is found and rescued. He is waiting for a complete family reunion.

To reconcile the fallen people back to His original purpose of creation, God sent His only begotten Son to die of a horrific death but then raised Him from the dead through His eternal saving power. The death and resurrection of Jesus is what we are anticipating – for God’s eternal victory over death and sin forever. This passage tells us that God’s redemptive mindset is to reconcile all to Himself, no matter how long it takes. Joy is not completed until Christ finds the very last lost sheep. God does not look at statistics the way we do. The heavenly party and celebration will not begin until the very last lost soul is found. But God keeps on waiting to reconcile us through Christ.

God’s patience teaches us how to wait even He knows that sometimes we do not want to be found and rescued. He does not stop waiting. As we wait and anticipate on something important to us, may we turn our eyes to this heavenly mindset before we get frustrating or anxious, and allow the redeeming grace to guide our lives.

Enoch and his wife, Fennie,  just moved to the US from Hong Kong last September. Their daughter, Kristy, is studying at University of Sydney for her master’s in occupational therapy. After arriving in Pasadena, they adopted their baby kitten girl, Emma. He works for an accounting firm as an international tax consultant. He also earned his M.Div from Princeton Theological Seminary and came under the care of the New York Metro Presbytery (PCA). As an economist, he is interested in business ethics and economics/ethics. He has been an Arsenal supporter for over 45 years (real football).