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? 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!” Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. (Luke 15:8-10)
Shine, Sweep, Seek, And Sing
Jesus tells a story about a woman who had ten silver coins. These coins were valuable to her as she cherished them for her livelihood and security. Imagine the horror when she realizes that one of her coins is missing. Frantically, she begins seeking her lost coin. It is not a matter of greed she seeks the coin. Losing the coin is misplacing a thing of great worth and value to her. It brings with it enumerable blessings that would not be possible if the coin is lost. A wealthy man may look at the loss as part of doing business. Losing ten percent is not desired, but those who can endure such loss will not seek one lost coin. The woman is desperately seeking the coin because of its value. How she seeks the coin shows the importance of great value and the limits she will go to find one lost coin.
The first thing she needs is light. Finding her lamp, the woman lights the oil lamp to look under the table, in the dark corners, and all the places in her home the coin may be. The worth of the coin demands shining light throughout the house. Without the light, she would probably miss the coin and lose it forever. Oil is expensive for this woman, but she uses her valuable oil to find something of greater value. It becomes a sacrifice to being the search, but she is undaunted.
One of the common problems in any home is the clutter and dust accumulated over time. Finding a lamp to give light to the room, the woman begins sweeping the floor seeking the lost coin. She sweeps the house. All of the house. There is not a corner left that is not swept. It takes work to sweep the whole house, but she is diligent in taking whatever measures are necessary to find the lost coin. Sweeping is work, and the woman puts her hand to the task.
With the lamp shining brightly and the room well swept, the woman seeks for the lost coin. Her efforts are focused on one single purpose: find the one coin. She has treasured the nine coins, but she must find the one lost coin. After exhaustive searching, the coin is found. It matters not where the coin is found. Rather, the story reflects the worth of the coin and the extent of effort the woman puts forth to find just one lost coin. She cannot afford to lose one coin. The ten coins mean more to her than anything. She lights a lamp to SHINE a way to find the coin and SWEEPS the whole house so that she can SEEK for her one lost coin. Her efforts pay off, and the coin is found.
The joy of finding one coin can be lost on those who have many coins. What the woman does is remarkable as she shares the tale of the lost coin with others. She brings her friends and neighbors into her home to celebrate a single coin that was lost and joyfully found. Did her friends understand how important the coin was? Could they have laughed behind her back for making such a huge production over one lost coin? One thing was sure in the woman’s mind, and that was the worth of the one lost coin and the extensive efforts she was willing to go in finding that lost coin. She shone, she swept, she sought, and then she sang. Her joy was finding the one coin. Its value was beyond measure. Her efforts were rewarded with joy.
Jesus tells the parable of the lost coin to show the intense desire of the Father to save a lost soul. Everyone matters to God, and not one lost soul is pleasing to the Father. The other parables of the lost sheep and the prodigal son illustrate the grace and mercy of God for His people. But there is also a beautiful story of a woman who realized the worth and value of one coin. She had nine other coins, but she was not satisfied until she had the one lost coin. There was a lot of work to be done to find the one coin, and she was willing to expend whatever energies necessary to find the one coin. She lit a lamp to shine light throughout the house. Her hand took to the broom to sweep the house, removing those things that hindered her search. After cleaning the house, she looked for the coin. She knew the coin would not just suddenly appear on its own. The woman had to seek the lost coin. When the coin was found, she sang with rejoicing.
God does not want anyone to be lost. The value of a lost soul is the great lesson in the parable for those willing to light a lamp (shine), sweep, seek and sing when a friend, coworker, spouse, or stranger obeys the gospel. A Christian should let his light shine and keep his heart and mind swept clean of the world so they will have a heart of seeking the lost. When the light of Christ shines in the heart of a child of God who lives a holy life, they will desire to find lost souls and bring them to the Lord. Then the rejoicing will take place. Shine – sweep – seek – and sing. Glory to God for the salvation of ONE soul.