From Lost to Found
The Christian faith is, at it’s heart, about salvation. Salvation happens when someone like you or I start out being lost, but through either the initiative of God, or our an action of our own, we become found.
Luke 15 teaches us that God’s number one goal is to find every one of us and to restore us to God’s self in a healthy relationship built upon mutual trust, love and harmony. Only when we are entirely united with God in a bond of togetherness and peace is God truly happy. God really does throw a big party in heaven whenever you or I are found.
Am I Lost?
But you may be asking yourself, “Am I lost?” Yes, you are, because scripture says that all of us are lost when, through our attitudes and behaviors, we are opposed to God’s peaceful purposes in the world. According to the Apostle Paul, all of us are enslaved by this opposition to God and God’s plan for peace, and apart from Jesus Christ, we can never break free from it.
Pride, envy, greed and conceitedness rule all of us at some time or another, having a harmful impact upon our mental health and damaging our relationships with others. No matter how hard we try, we cannot be rid of them. Many of us also engage in harmful actions like selfishness, vain ambition, meanness, arrogance, boastfulness, lust, and most of all, unnecessary arguments and uncalled-for division. Discord and strife are perhaps the worst sins of all in the New Testament, yet we are all so readily involved in them. Yes, indeed, all of us are lost every now and then.
How Can I Be Found?
But the good news is that God does not hate us for being lost. Rather, God comes looking for us. God is like a concerned shepherd, who leaves the 99 righteous sheep in the pen and braves all sorts of perils and overcomes all kinds of challenges to find us. God is also like a woman who just lost her rare and precious coin. She searches and cleans her entire house, until at last she finds it. In both metaphors, God rejoices when the lost are found, and the whole heavenly host celebrates with joy, too.
So, if you are feeling lost because of the way you have been thinking about or acting toward your neighbors, defying God’s plan for peace in God’s world, don’t fret. Simply be like the prodigal child. Come to yourself. Go to your Father in Heaven, who is already searching hard for you, and fully confess what you have done. Resolve in your heart to become kinder, gentler and more peaceful. God will accept you. God will throw a party in your honor. There will be joy in heaven because of you. Amen.