February 28, 2019
Volume 23, Number 9
The name “Cozy Hollow School” brings nice images to mind (and yes, it’s a real name of a real school). But even nicer images come when you hear what the Albany County School District in Wyoming is going to do.
Cozy Hollow School consists of a singular modular building, about 60 miles north of Laramie. It hasn’t been used for more than a decade, since there are so few children in that area. This fall, however, kindergarten will be opened – for one student. The remoteness of the area makes it impractical to transport that one young child to the next-nearest school, so Cozy Hollow’s halls will again ring with the voice of a child.
Several years ago I agreed to teach classes for a newly-opened preaching school in a nearby community. In one of those classes I had one student. The class lasted about three hours a day, and met once a week for three months. Some might argue that it wasn’t an efficient use of my time, but I’m happy to report that my former student is still preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.
What if there had been only one person on earth guilty of sin? Being guilty of sin brings harsh consequences: “For the wages of sin is death …” (Romans 6:23). Factored in to the total population of earth for all times, one lost soul would have been an infinitesimal fraction. Would God have bothered with that one lost soul?
Jesus answered that hypothetical question with a parable in Luke 15: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?” (Luke 15:4). A 99% success rate is considered by the world to be phenomenal. In the eyes of Jesus, if only 1% is lost, that’s a tragedy. Heaven springs to action to recover one lost sheep!
“That shepherd must have been really put out to have to go looking for that sheep!” someone might muse. That’s not how Jesus told it, though: “And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’” (Luke 15:5,6). The shepherd’s focus was not on his own comfort and safety, but entirely on the security of that one lost sheep.
Here’s how Jesus finished the parable: “I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance” (Luke 15:7). Heaven rejoices every time one soul is reclaimed!
Wyoming will reopen a school for one child?! That’s the kind of news we like to hear. But God has better news. He sent His Son for one lost soul, whether yours or mine.
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
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Copyright, 2019, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).
“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.
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