The Lost Coin, The Lost Sheep, The Prodigal Son

Yesterday, an Amber Alert was posted for one of my relatives. As a family we talked to his school, tried to contact as many friends as possible, explored the possibilities of where he might have gone. We were on a search, a search that felt helpless. And then my relative was found and we rejoiced!

This morning during my devotional time I thought about what this meant theologically. I was struck with the number of passages that dealt with the lost object or person. I saw how this is a parable of our lives and a message regarding the Kingdom of Heaven.

I considered how the search felt so foolish in our sense of being helpless, yet we searched nonetheless. What does it mean for the shepherd to leave the flock to go after the one wandering sheep? What are the risks of doing so? How does this make the shepherd vulnerable? Why does the one animal value so much?

We were sitting around family Christmas when we learned the news. We are a very large family - one of us was missing.

The Church is a very large family. In this season of Advent many of us are sitting around celebrating Christ's birth. What do we do when we discover that one of us is missing? How do we react? How do we search for the lost coin, sheep, or son? Or do we?

Luke 15:8-10 (New International Version, ©2010)

The Parable of the Lost Coin

8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

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