May 12, 2024: Lost and Found

statue of Jesus with Lamb on shoulder

Ascension Sunday/Seventh Sunday of Easter

Lost and Found

When I was about seven years old, my mother took my sister and me to a local department store where my father was a part-time security guard. Almost immediately after entering the store, I ran toward the toy department. After a few moments, I realized that my mom and my sister weren’t anywhere to be found. As I looked around, I began to feel afraid. I started roaming around the store. I couldn’t find them. I looked and looked to no avail. Now, I was panicking. What was I going to do?

The store was across from my church. I could go over there. But it was across the busy highway. My house wasn’t very far, and I could walk home. However, I had the same problem with the busy highway. What should I do?

What I didn’t realize is that my dad just happened to be working that evening. He was in a secret room with a one-way mirror that overlooked the entire store. He was watching me from his perch. He was following me and watching where I was going, as were my mom and sister by this time.

In John, we hear Jesus say, “I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except [Judas]” (John 17:12). In the same way that my parents protected me, and made sure that I was not lost, so too does Jesus. He protects us from the busy highways in our lives and keeps us from harm. It gives us great comfort that no matter where we go or what we do, we are not abandoned.

Perhaps that’s why I love the line from the hymn “Amazing Grace”: “I once was lost, but now am found.”

Eric Renner, pastor, Canaan Moravian Church, Davenport, North Dakota
and Shepherd of the Prairie Moravian Church, Fargo, North Dakota