How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.
George Washington Carver
How many of you chronically lose or misplace things? You never notice that something is lost until you need it and it’s always in the last place you look. Have you ever noticed the intensity with which you will search for an inanimate object when you need it? Your wallet, your purse, your keys, a document, an address, a phone number, a pair of socks or earrings. When you need it, you need it now and if time is running out, finding that thing is the highest priority in your life at that moment.
Believe it or not, God knows what all of this feels like on a much grander scale. God is searching for something—but not because he can’t remember where he left it. He knows where it is. He’s searching for you. But the only way that He can find you and bring you home is for you to recognize that you need found, that you are lost and need direction.
In Luke 15, Luke gives a series of three parables in response to the criticism of the scribes and Pharisees that Jesus received unbelieving sinners and even ate with them. Evidently, His love and vulnerability attracted lost people from all classes and lifestyles. These were people who had no regard for the Torah or for religious traditions. Jesus had made it clear that He came to save people like this, not self-righteous people (Luke 5:27-32; 14:21-24). Seeing the many needy people around Him who were lost and recognizing the criticism coming from the religious establishment who were also lost, Jesus told three “Parables of Lostness.” He talked about lost sheep who needed a shepherd; about a lost coin that had value and needed to be put into circulation; about lost sons who needed to be in fellowship with the Father.
Today, our focus is on the second of these stories – a lost coin that had value and needed to be put into circulation again.
Title: Lost…At Home
It forces upon us the question, “Do I have something lost at home, something out of spiritual circulation?” Perhaps better, “Is someone lost at home or in my extended family?” Our Lord is not that concerned about a lost coin, but is illustrating the value of lost persons. Is someone lost in your home through inattentiveness and neglect? Is someone lost in your home — a child, perhaps, that you have taken for granted is a Christian, but, as he or she grows up, something makes you realize that he or she is not? You may wake up to realize that these whom you have taken for granted to be safe and sound in your home are not; they are lost. Being lost in this trilogy of parables means being away from safety and in a place of danger; it means being uninformed about a better way to live; it means not serving God for all the wrong reasons. “Lost” is being where you’re not supposed to be. “Lost” does not really know where you belong, or how to get there. “Lost” is having no valid point of reference outside of “self.” “Lost” is waking up one day and realizing that among your most valuable treasures on earth, among your family members, there is one who is lost and out of spiritual circulation.
Dysfunction and neglect are not healthy communities, but finding this out can be the first step to healing. I beseech you to examine your community and homes today to find what is “Lost.”