13th MARCH

Catching a glimpse of the other - seeking the lost

Luke 15: 1 - 10

“I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who do not need to repent.”

After some six months in a new manse I’m still looking for things.  Where did I put this?  Where did I put that?  I don’t know about you, but I get quite frustrated and find it hard to stop until I have found what I’m looking for.  I will hunt high and low and no matter what time it is I will keep on looking.  This is he kind of persistence were reminded of the other day when looking at prayer.

Persistence is the key here in this passage  It is a persistence borne out of a love and compassion inspired by the love and compassion of God.  Jesus talks about possessions here he refers to sheep and coins.  These were important to the people to whom they belonged to, but nowhere near as important as awe are to God.  It doesn’t matter whether we see ourselves as close to God or far off.  God is interested in each and every one of us.

There’s the picture of the woman looking for the lost coin and the joy when she finds it.  There’s also the picture of the shepherd who not only goes off looking for that one sheep but will very often risk his own life in going out into the wilds to find and rescue the one he is looking for.  Both paint a vivid picture of God and open our eyes up to his love for us as well as the lengths that he will go to to find us and rescue us from the dangers we all too often face.  He brings us safely home where he will keep us safe and secure.

God went to extreme lengths to seek us out by coming into the world in Christ Jesus.  Christ embraced so many dangers and he endured even death itself.  God did this in  order to find and rescue us from all of the difficulties that we face in our journey through life.

There is a comfort in all of this in what God did and what Christ was prepared to do.  There is also a challenge because this was directed to the people of God to get them to look beyond their immediate group and see others who are lost that they might be welcomed into the fold and into the family of God.

  • What do the welcoming arms of God feel like to you?  Who might you seek out and reach out to?  What does it mean to seek the lost?

I was lost, but Lord Jesus Christ,

you sought me . . . you rescued me . . .

you carried me safely on your shoulder.

Inspire us to go out in your name and to go in your strength an in your love.

AMEN.