Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
In these two parables, Jesus is trying to point out why he travels, eats, and worships with sinners.
We have all lost things: sometimes just briefly, when you forget where you put your keys down; other times for a long time—always in a safe place, you think. A while ago, when both my daughters were in town, I pointed out that I didn’t remember ever losing either of them in a store. My oldest daughter said, “Well duh, Mom!” My answer was “Duh, what?” She replied, “All we had to do was look up and find the tall redhead! You never lost us because we never lost you!”
That story came into my head as I was reading this lesson. First is a lost sheep, which the shepherd seeks out, leaving the rest of the flock behind. When the sheep is found, there is great joy! The lost coin tells a similar story. The lamp is lit and the house is swept and cleaned until the coin appears. Again, great joy! It is interesting to note that Jesus opines that the lost need saving—more so than the righteous. The one who is brought back into the fold is highly valued in heaven.
For me, this is also about being lost myself. Have you ever been lost? I think that many of us lose our way in our own arrogance that we know best what we need. God always has our best interests in mind.
Maybe we need to take a lesson from my daughters. Look up and see. We may at times lose God, but God never loses us! Jesus is advocating for us. We need only to take the time to look up to heaven and quietly wait for God to answer.
Martha Griffis, elder, Central Moravian Church, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania