IT has often seemed unreasonable that there should be
more joy in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine just
men in need of no repentance, as though we gave most joy to the heart of
God by often sinning and repenting often. But God has no joy in insincere
repentances, and to repent sincerely is to repent, so far as we can make
it, irrevocably. It is not for us to theorise repentance, but to
repent; we at least are sinners, and we can give to the heart of God the
joy he prizes so, for we can repent. Especially since the careful
searching fingers are stretched from heaven to find the missing silver,
and the love of God does not rest from seeking the lost sheep. How,
in fact, was Jesus seen to be seeking the sinful publicans? He sat
and ate with them. And he is seen to be seeking us, in that he has
drawn us to share his table.
In birth our fellow man was he,
Our meat while sitting at the board.
He died our ransomer to be,
He ever lives our great reward.