In the 15th chapter of Luke, the Pharisees and the scribes, the ones who are supposed to be the righteous ones, are grumbling because Jesus was not only welcoming the sinners but was also eating with them. So Jesus tells three parables of the lost and found. Two of them are included in today’s lesson with the third parable being that of the Prodigal Son. These parables get to the heart of God.
Being lost means that we are no longer in control. There are several ways in which we might feel lost. The most obvious being the lost because we don’t know where we are, or being lost in the sense that we don’t know where we are headed.
At the church on Saturday, Veterans from the James Haley VA hospital put on a play to enlighten the community about mental illness. They talked about their sense of isolation due to their own mental illness. Any illness, grief or trauma can cause us to feel like we are the only ones suffering this way. The Veterans opening up allowed them to accept themselves. The lost are found.
Sometimes our own egotism separates us and makes us lost. We forget science and faith are not opposites; they go hand in hand. God has done many things that take place over a period of time. Just think about the things that we see in nature that have taken many thousands of years to be the way they are. The things that God has created and that continue to evolve takes many years of scientific study to even begin to understand. The great rocket scientist, Werner von Braun, the father of the NASA space program spoke about finding evidence of God through observation. In 1972 he wrote, “I would have to say that for me the grandeur of the cosmos confirms my belief in the certainty of a Creator. There are the gift of love, the will of a species to live and propagate, the powerful force at work on a galactic scale, and the grown of an ungainly seed into a beautiful flower.the universe, as revealed through scientific inquiry, is the living witness that God has been at work..my experience with science led me to God-it was as if I were putting a face on God.”
The “lost”ness is in us. The coin and the sheep didn’t do anything to be found. The finder is the one that does the work. They seek out those that are lost. God celebrates in finding us. The ways in which he seeks out the lost is extravagant. He leaves the 99 sheep to seeking the 1 that is lost. He seeks out the coin and when found spends it on a celebration. That extravagance comes to us every week when we participate in the communion, the ultimate celebration that God has found us. We are all lost and God extravagantly celebrates our finding and he reminds us we are no longer lost through the promise he made by sending his only Son for us.