Tag Archives: sheep

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.

Relentless

relentlessAt a memorial service for Eugene Peterson last November, his son Lief said the pastor/author for 50 years had one main message: “God loves you. He’s on your side. He’s coming after you. He’s relentless” (“Voices,” World Magazine, February 16, 2019, 64).

What a wonderful message and legacy for Eugene Peterson to leave. The author of The Message paraphrased translation of the Bible so many of us know and love, Peterson made sure in all his writing that we know that we are loved by God. And this memorial statement by his son reveals the depth of that love.

Even if we do not feel loved, we are loved by God, no matter what. Even if we feel like everything is against us. God is on our side. I have recently found great solace in the verse, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). God is always on our team.

Then when I hear the words “He is coming for you,” I cannot help but think of the loving Father who ran toward his repentant prodigal son to wrap his arms around him. He longs to reach out to you and embrace you just as you are, faults and all, because of the forgiveness won for us through Christ.

And he is relentless. He will not let you get lost or run away. Like the Good Shepherd, he leaves the 99 sheep behind until he finds the lost one. He will not stop seeking you out and being your Savior. I think of this verse from Isaiah 35:4: Say to those who are anxious in heart: “He will come and save you!” He has and he always will.