Knowing the God of the “Lost and Found”Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
“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!”
When I was a boy, my school had a “Lost and Found” closet. It was filled with things someone had lost and some other person had found: lunchboxes, sweaters, purses, and books. If I ever lost something at school, chances are it would show up in the “Lost and Found.”
In Luke 15, Jesus paints a triptych of a “Lost and Found” God. In the first panel, God is like a shepherd who, having lost one sheep, searched for it until he found it. Then he called his friends and neighbors to rejoice with him. In the second panel, God is like a woman who lost one of ten coins. She searched for it until she found it, and then called her friends and neighbors to rejoice with her. In the third panel, God is like a father with two lost sons. When the younger one returns after just about ruining his life, the father throws a grand party to celebrate. When the older son fails to join the party, the father reaches out to him, inviting him in. Why should the older son celebrate? “For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!” (15:32).
In this three-part masterpiece, Jesus revealed something essential about the nature of God. He is the God of the “Lost and Found.” God cares so much about lost people that he goes out of his way to find them. When they are found, God rejoices lavishly, even prodigally. God’s love seeks, reaches, embraces, welcomes, and celebrates.
It’s hard to imagine better news for us, as we seek to be in relationship with God. Jesus makes it clear that God seeks us before we seek him, that God desires relationship with us more than we desire relationship with him. To know this kind of God is amazing, reassuring, comforting, encouraging. It not only draws me into relationship with God when I first turn from my sin to put my faith in Christ, but also keeps me available to God when I wander away from him and become lost. The fact that God seeks me and rejoices when I am found fills my heart with gratitude and love. What a wonder to know the God of the “Lost and Found.”
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: As you think about the three images in the triptych of Luke 15, what stands out to you? What does it mean for you to be in relationship with the God of the “Lost and Found”?
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.
’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!
Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.
“Amazing Grace” public domain. First three verses by John Newton, 1779. Fourth verse by an unknown author.