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Sweep it Clean

Not too long ago here at work, we happened on the topic of balancing the check book. I told the story of watching my grandma balance her checkbook. She did it once a month and it was a big ordeal.

I can still see her at the kitchen table, paperwork, receipts, and cancelled checks strewn over the surface. I can still hear her electric printing calculator, plugged in under the large kitchen window, with a length of curled paper holding the most recent tally, a pen in-hand, and a bit of a frown across her face. I always had the impression that balancing the checkbook was not my grams’ favorite thing to do.

I have memories of watching my mom balance her checkbook. Same sort of scenario. If these women were off by 10 cents, they would work and rework numbers until they found it. I must confess, that is not me. On the other hand, I have made a very itemized budget and I follow it, but I have never in 40 years, balanced my checkbook.

But I think about those 10 cents. Was it worth the trouble? It reminds me of a story Jesus told in Luke 15:8.

“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it?” NKJV

I did not know until just recently, that coin may have had much value!

The footnote for verse 8 tells me that the coin was a valuable coin often worn in a ten-piece garland by married women. Or those soon to be married. It might have been like losing a stone in your wedding or engagement ring. It was important.

Verse 9 says, “And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’

Yes. It was a big deal!

One commentary I found suggested Jesus understood the value a denarius/drachma would have had in an Ancient Israeli society. It was equivalent to a day’s wages. Her total wealth was 10 coins, which would have equated to 10 days labor. She probably did not have a great amount of wealth, which is shown through the desperation in finding this 1 lost coin.

Also, keep in mind, houses in Jesus’ time would have been dusty and dirty and when something was lost such as a small coin it would have been difficult to find.

There were not usually many windows in the house so Jesus reminds His listeners that to find something that was lost, one would have to light a lamp. All this highlights how hard it would have been to find this coin and the great lengths and efforts she puts it to find it.

If the woman represents God and the coin humanity/us, then we can understand the great extents Jesus went through for us; that we may be found and recognized as sons and daughters of the Most High God.

Our lives without Christ are so far from Gods original plan for humanity. We are dirty and are hidden by the darkness in our hearts. We hide in the corners of society, living our lives constantly running away from God and sometimes even doing this unconsciously and in ignorance.

John described Jesus as a great light exposing the darkness. Jesus’ mission was to seek and save the lost. In doing so, He exposed the darkness and brought what was in the dark, to the light. And that is why there is such jubilation at one soul repenting. (Source: by Anthony Achilleos 12/8/2012)

I think it is safe to say, if Jesus was balancing His checkbook and He was off by 10 cents, and if those 10 cents represented you or me, He would look for us until He found us. And then He would throw a party to celebrate. That’s the God we serve.

by Jeanette Stark - Tuesday, October 11, 2022

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