In the Lost and Found text of Luke 15: 1-10 (NRSV) we find these words:
“Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, ‘This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.’ So he told them this parable: ‘Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my lost sheep.” Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. Or 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? And 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.”
Jesus tells the parable of what happens when we lose those things that are precious to us, and how, when they are found, a celebration is held.
Think of a time when you have lost something precious or of importance to you and what you did to find it. Think of how it made you feel when you found it.
You might not have thrown a party, but I bet that you told everyone about the anxiety that you felt when it was lost, and the joy that you experienced when you found it.
These parables tell us that we are precious to God. They tell us to what extent God will go to find us when we, like sheep, wander away from that fold or path, or get lost in the shuffle.
Whenever you feel like you have lost your way and that nobody cares, know that God cares and will move heaven and earth to find you. He will put you on his shoulders and carry you safely back to his loving presence.
You may feel lost at times but know that God will find you.
Rev. Dr. Christopher L. Thompson is pastor of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Okatie.