Lost and found
When we were kids my sister carried around this stuffed animal everywhere she went. One night, she inevitably dropped it while she was running errands with my parents. When they got home they noticed the toy was missing. She cried and cried so much that my parents had to go looking for this toy. They drove all around town with no luck. My parents even bought a brand new one that looked just like her old one, but she picked it up and immediately knew it wasn’t hers. At that point, they felt pretty doubtful this toy would be found. And imaginably pretty frustrated. Finally, the toy was found in the streets of Safeway. Covered in rain and dirt, she picked it up and gave it a huge hug. She was so happy to have her toy back home. Luke 15 creates a clear picture of Jesus rejoicing when lost things are found. 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home” I love the way the Shepard treats the lost sheep. First, the sheep couldn’t find his way home on his own. He knew that. So he purposely left the other sheep to search for the lost one. When he finds the sheep, He doesn’t scold the sheep or begrudgingly place it on his shoulders - he does so with joy. He doesn’t punish the sheep for wandering off, he brings him home AND even rejoices with his friends. The parable of the sheep ties directly into the prodigal son. The father doesn’t punish his son for going off on his own and the poor choices he made, he throws a feast! A celebration full of joy for his son has finally come home. Scripture is pretty clear about lost things. Lost people. The Lord rejoices when they come home. When I am feeling lost, I tend to hide. The Sheppard has 99 other sheep to worry about why should he find me? Or the Father has another son, what am I worth? I believe that there is no way Jesus could ever forgive and love me again. Yet - he does. He welcomes us with open arms and a heart full of love. God is always there for the lost sheep waiting until he can celebrate their return. This week, as we are in the season of thanksgiving, rejoice with those of were once lost but now have been found. Pray for those in your life who have yet to know the Lord. May we rejoice with them when they finally come home.