Joyful Coins



Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to Jesus. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

 So he told them this parable: “What woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it?  When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”


We all have experienced the frustration and even panic of losing something:  wallet, car keys, jewelry, a child at the park.  In this little parable, a woman has lost one of her ten silver coins—the equivalent of a day’s wage.  To make matters worse, her home likely had no windows and a dirt or stoney floor.  To find the coin, she needs to light a lamp and peer into the dark, dust, and cracks as she carefully sweeps and searches.  No wonder she asks her friends and neighbors to rejoice with her.  She has found the coin!  Her panic has turned to joy.

Once again, knowing to whom Jesus is telling the story helps us understand its deeper meaning for life in the kingdom.  Two groups are listening to Jesus:  those who have been lost coins themselves and those who grumble about the celebration of Jesus who is the ultimate finder of lost coins.  Coins don’t lose themselves on purpose, nor do people.  Jesus is the woman in this story, and because we are each of great value to him, he diligently sweeps and searches for us whenever we go missing.  The kingdom is the place of celebration for all who have been lost and found.


  • Reflect on this week’s scripture. Are there any words or ideas that especially resonate with you or challenge you?

  • When have you experienced being lost?  Being lost is so much more than being a “lost sinner” which is how the grumblers in the story saw being lost.  We can be lost in grief, loneliness, illness, fear, and many other situations when we don’t know where we are in life.  When have you experienced being found?

  • Have you ever been one of the grumblers? This is SO hard to admit, and yet sometimes we have a hard time rejoicing when others have been found.  Spend some time reflecting on this all so human tendency.  Why do we do this?  What might this say about our own needing to be found?

  • Jesus can’t sweep the floors by himself!  How might you be with those who are feeling lost in life?



you light lamps
and sweep, seek, find,
and rejoice. 

I rejoice that you will always seek and find me. 

I rejoice that I can be a friend to those who find themselves lost.