Following the God of the “Lost and Found”

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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“We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!”

Luke 15:32

In Luke 15, Jesus paints a triptych that reveals God to be one who seeks the lost and who rejoices extravagantly when they are found. In yesterday’s reflection, we considered what it means to know the God of the “Lost and Found.”

Jesus painted this three-fold picture of God in response to some religious leaders who complained that he was hanging out with “tax collectors and other notorious sinners” (15:1). In effect, Jesus was saying to them: “God is the God of the ‘Lost and Found.’ God seeks the lost in order to find them. And when this happens, our Father in heaven rejoices along with the whole heavenly host. This is why I associate with sinners, with those who are lost.”

Jesus explicitly aligns himself and his mission with that of God the Father. Implicitly, he identifies himself with God to an astounding, even scandalous extent. Though you and I are not the Son of God in the unique way of Jesus, we are children of God and followers of God. Thus, if God is the God of the “Lost and Found,” then we should be like him.

Are we? Do we feel compassion for those who are lost, for the younger brothers and the older brothers who are separated from God? Are we like the shepherd who left his flock in order to seek the one lost sheep? Are our churches like this? Or are we more invested in guarding the interests of the established flock?

Are you a “Lost and Found” kind of person?

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: So, are you? If so, what has helped you to be like this? If not, why not? What would it mean for you to become a person with a passion for seeking the lost? How might this change your attitudes? your prayers? your behavior?

PRAYER: Gracious, merciful, lost-seeking God, how I thank you for seeking and finding me! What a gift to be in relationship with you because of your compassion and desire to be in relationship with me.

As one of your children by faith, I should be like you. I should be a “Lost and Found” disciple of Jesus, one with a passion for seeking and finding those who are lost. Sometimes I have this passion, but often I don’t. I can become so caught up in my own “stuff.” Or I can want the church to be what I want it to be, not what it needs to be in order to reach the lost. Forgive me, Lord, for all the times I fail to share your “Lost and Found” passion.

Help me to be like you. Help me to yearn for the lost to come home. Help me to know when I am to be part of the seeking process. Give me eyes to see those around me who are lost, so that I might reach out to them with your love and grace.

Today, I pray for my church, that we might be a “Lost and Found” church. Deliver us, Lord, from caring so much about ourselves that we fail to reach out to others. Give us a new yearning to seek the lost, even the “older brothers” in our lives. May we be people of amazing grace and abundant mercy.

All praise be to you, “Lost and Found” God! Amen.