Lost and Found

Sermon from March 12, 2017 on Luke 15 “Lost Sheep and Lost Coin” parables.

River of Hope is creating meaning together during the sermon time with a participatory section of asking questions about the scripture and talking with one another about it.  The audio (see below) reflects that. The printed “sermon” below is more my questions and a few notes I made to prompt me.

Hide and Seek: The Lost Sheep, The Lost Coin – Luke 15:1-10 (Lent 2, March 12, 2017)

My niece and nephew were at my house a few weeks ago and we ended up playing hide and seek as we like to do. I hid in my basement which is unfinished and, in the words of my sister, “if spiders made noise, it’d be deafening down here.” Pretty soon I can tell everyone’s been found but me. Sadie opens the door to the basement and hollers down, “Laura, we know you’re down there but we don’t want to come down there!”  I manage to stifle my giggles and wait. them. out. Sadie and Mason talk each other into coming downstairs armed with a flashlight, walking on tip toes, daring each other around each new corner. “No, YOU open that door.” I give a little whistle to get them coming in the right direction and then there is great laughter and sighing when I poke my head out from behind a wall.

 

Hide and seek isn’t really complete unless you get found. Another name would be hiding and finding… or in our stories today being lost and being found.

 

 

Who are you in these stories of being lost and being found? Are you the lost? Are you the found? Are you the seeker? Talk to each other for a few minutes. What are your questions about these two stories?

 

Here are my questions and a few thoughts:   

What does it say about God to leave 99 sheep unattended and go after one?

Can we believe others deserve God’s attention and love just as we do?

What brings about transformation in each story? God’s persistence and rejoicing!

What does it say about those of us who fall into the 99%? The “never lost?”

What is God’s attitude toward the lost?

The previous chapter is all about eating, being invited to a great banquet and who gets invited and who declines. It’s about hospitality for the least, for the stranger, for the vulnerable, for the other.

 

 

On one hand God looks rash and foolish to risk the 99 sheep, left alone in the wilderness to scatter. Yet the point of Jesus in telling this story is in the finding of the one and the great rejoicing of the one.

 

Which is why God will come running after you in the same way. God did not bully the sheep or shame it to come back to the fold. God did not set up a bank account for the coins. Instead, God rejoices and calls us into rejoicing! Which leads me to wonder might God also be calling us to go after the one’s we’d normally let fend for themselves? Might God call us to do all we can to find the lost and then throw a big party in their honor!?

 

You each got a Lego piece when you came into worship today. Hang onto it during the prayers so you are reminded to pray for the lost. Who knows, maybe that’s even you. Then, when you come up for communion, when you come up to the meal in celebration of all the lost sheep being found, bring the Lego forward and connect it with all the others as a way of reminding ourselves that God will work to find all the lost sheep and to bring them home to the fold.

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