I think one of my favorite church announcements is “we are sorry to announce this, but we’ve lost the lost and found box!” We don’t really have a box we just kind of leave things hanging on the hanger or set them out and the owner finds them. Sometimes I am sure we loose things and don’t even know it until much later. During these cooler mornings my son, Joel, looks for his cotton jacket to wear. Unbeknownst to me, I see it hanging at the church today…I didn’t even know it had been lost and I’m sure his mother didn’t know….
My memory jogs back to a family vacation to Disney World. I remember (barely) being on the Robinson Caruso island house and it being a large reconstructed replica of his home. All I can recall is being on the top floor of this deal on the deck/patio and looking away down yonder and seeing my family exit the area. Sort of like the movie “Home Alone”….I smacked my cheeks and yelled! I don’t know the rest of that story but just the sheer terror of being lost, and seeing where I needed to go, but no idea how to get there.
I don’t know why I can remember obscure details of my past and constantly loose keys, cell phone or other things. I get very angry when I loose something that’s obviously should not be lost. I’ll check with the others in my home to see who carried off the item when, lo and behold, it is where it wasn’t supposed to be. More like out of order than lost.
We probably all have many stories of being lost. We can all thank God that we are never lost in Christ. God is always searching for us and rejoicing with all the angels in heaven as our Gospel lesson for this Sunday teaches. Luke 15:1-10 (read it before Sunday and be doubly blessed) reports a parable of Jesus for the Pharisees about being lost and found. Jesus uses the analogy of lost sheep and lost coin. When they are found there is rejoicing…”over one sinner who repents”. We cannot get there and yet we can see it in the breath of a baby, in the fresh air, in the sunrise and sunset, in hospital room prayers, and the weeping and rejoicing we do with one another. We see it in our love for one another and we can’t get there on our own….we get there thru Jesus the Christ.
You’ll remember that “repent” is from the Greek word “metanoia” meaning a change of mind. We must always and forever change our mind from the lost ness of sin and remember that we are found in grace, found in God and found in the love outpoured from the Cross in Jesus the Christ. This is most certainly true as we gather around the Table to eat bread and wine and to do this “to remember Jesus”.
This is our Lord and Savior the same one the Pharisees grumble about….”This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them” and I say AMEN, THANKS BE TO GOD!!!