Tag Archives: Prodigal

Those Things That Are Lost

coin

The parables of those things that are lost are very telling to us as followers of Christ. The woman with the lost coin is like our God who looks everywhere for us who are lost and living apart from him. He looks in every nook and cranny. He looks in, under and around everything for us. He uses a broom to sweep every corner for us.

When he finds us, he calls his friends and family (the angels, the saints, the trinity) to celebrate that the lost has been found. We, his coins, are special to him and treasures to him. What a joy it is to be celebrated and treasured in this way.

The second parable in the series about lost things is a parable about caring. The parable talks about one sheep among 100 who is lost. The shepherd leaves the 99 to find the one lost sheep. This shows how much the shepherd cares for each and every sheep. He will spend precious time away from the majority to rescue the minority. Once he finds the lost sheep, he will carry that lost sheep on his shoulders so that the sheep will not be injured on the way home and the sheep will return in victory for having been found.

The parable of the lost son captures what it means in human terms to be lost and then found by God. The young son asks his father for his inheritance, which the father gives to him. This shows what a generous father the son has and what a generous God we have. The son spends the money on wild, reckless and wasteful living. This reflects how free we are with God’s gifts and how ungrateful we are in our spending of those gifts. When the son realizes how wasteful he has been, he seeks to return to his father’s house. When we realize how reckless we have been with God’ gifts and how sinful we have been, we seek to return to our God for forgiveness. When the son returns to his father, his father welcomes him with open arms and throws a party for him. When we return to God, he forgives us our sins freely and celebrates our return with all those gathered in his home in heaven. He makes sure that when the time comes, we will be his honored guests at the feast of victory in heaven.

Arms

armsWe sang the song “O Come to the Altar” by Elevation Worship a few Sundays ago in church, and I was struck by this refrain:

The Father’s arms are open wide.

As those words were woven into the lyrics and repeated throughout, the powerful meaning of that image filled me with comfort and confidence. No matter where I have been, what I have done, when I return to him in repentance, God’s arms are always open wide to receive me.

There is a moment in the youtube version of the song link below where the audience sings these words in unison, and I can feel the collective relief and unburdening in the people’s voices. Take a listen, if you have a moment here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYQ5yXCc_CA

I am reminded of the scene in the story of the Prodigal Son when the father sees his wayward son from a distance and runs with arms open wide to embrace him. At the very heart of our relationship with God is a longing and desire to be wrapped in his embrace and surrounded by the peace, security and strength only he can provide.

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