Lost and Found

Many years ago, I encountered an angry woman and a chagrined man frantically searching for a lost item at a beach access. I was headed to the beach and they were leaving when apparently he threw her engagement ring to her as they were trudging over the dune, heavy laden with chairs, towels, etc. Well, as you can guess, she didn’t catch it and it landed somewhere in the sand.

It was their loud arguing that caught my attention as I crossed the road to the access. She was berating him for being stupid enough to toss the ring to her in the first place. He was countering with how clumsy she was to have not caught it. I was amazed at the entire scene. Not to take sides but come on! Who throws good jewelry at the beach? That’s just a disaster waiting to happen. And it did.

So, I put my stuff down and joined the search. As we sifted and dug, I told them that I was praying Luke 15 over them. They did not know the reference, so this gave me an opportunity to share this Scripture with them as we searched:

Luke 15 (The Message)

15 1-3 By this time a lot of men and women of questionable reputation were hanging around Jesus, listening intently. The Pharisees and religion scholars were not pleased, not at all pleased. They growled, “He takes in sinners and eats meals with them, treating them like old friends.” Their grumbling triggered this story.

4-7 “Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? When found, you can be sure you would put it across your shoulders, rejoicing, and when you got home call in your friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Celebrate with me! I’ve found my lost sheep!’ Count on it—there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner’s rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue.

Jesus is terrifically concerned with lost things, especially lost souls. The Pharisees and religion scholars who believed that certain types of people don’t belong in church missed the point that Jesus took IN the sinners, ate with them, and treated them like old friends.

We must do likewise.

8-10 “Or imagine a woman who has ten coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and scour the house, looking in every nook and cranny until she finds it? And when she finds it you can be sure she’ll call her friends and neighbors: ‘Celebrate with me! I found my lost coin!’ Count on it—that’s the kind of party God’s angels throw every time one lost soul turns to God.”

After about ten more minutes of searching, I found the ring. The look of joy (her) and relief (him) on their faces was worth the effort and they walked across the dune holding hands. I was grateful for the strange opportunity to witness to my faith.

Are you lost today? Have you wandered away from God? Do you need a rescue?

Jesus is not only willing, but very able to come and find you. Look and see! Your deliverer comes.

Good Shepherd by Kitty Hawk United Methodist Church