About Things that are Lost and Found
* Today’s gospel: about things that are “lost - & found”
1 lost sheep, and a shepherd who leaves the 99 to find the one.
1 lost coin, and a woman who rejoices when it is found.
1 wayward child, and a father who runs to greet him, and bless him.
* Have you ever lost something?
Your keys, your wallet, your coat? Of course.
Or lost something of great emotional value?
A friend, a beloved relationship, a dear pet?
Have you ever lost your health, your sense of safety?
Lost your hope, your faith?
Were you able to regain, what you had lost?
Who or what helped you to find, what you lost?
Or did you never find the lost thing – & did that matter?
By God’s grace, was it better to be lost? Or grace softened the loss?
Perhaps there was a time when, you lost yourself,
in a moment, or a long season.
If you have ever been lost, or felt lost,
(and I suspect that we all have, in one way or another …. )
How did you find your way –
the way back, way forward, towards home?
Who found you? A friend, or Christ himself ?
* Did you return to who you were before?
Or were you changed, and was that a deep blessing,
that led you into a new place, a new way of being.
2 Corinthians 5:16-21 says: If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ, God reconciled the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.
* What does this sacred, holy story mean?
If you are not perfect (which none of us are) do not lose heart.
Christ calls us to confess our mistakes and failings,
to leave them behind – and become new, w/o shame.
St Benedict said: “always we begin again.” Indeed. And perhaps in new beginnings, we are changed, for good.
In today’s sacred text from Joshua 5,
Israelites mark the end, of their wandering-in-the-wilderness time.
They are not the same as before their pilgrimage.
A special meal is celebrated, to mark a new time
in the land where they would now live.
A tribe restored, by grace, rooted into a new sense of home.
* Later in the holy story, in Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32,
the description of a celebration feast is shared,
with grace in the blessing of an individual’s forgiven life.
The ultimate theme of this story is not the prodigal son,
but the Father who finds us.
The ultimate theme is not faithlessness of human beings,
but the faithfulness of God, to us, wherever we are on our journey.
* Luke’s gospel shares the joy, in welcoming a lost son
The father’s gifts to his wayward yet humbled son are extravagant:
a festal robe for rejoicing, sandals for weary feet from a long wayward journey,
and a ring, signifying love, for the journeys ahead, paved with grace.
Perhaps we too, in our faults, failings, wanderings, hopes and contrition, may be found, wherever we are today.
May we come to know, that wherever we are, we are beloved,
and always called to home, to be loved and guided, sinner or saint, onto the Way everlasting. Amen.
Let us pray: gracious God, your generous mercy and guardianship of our lives humbles us, in the faults and failings of our human selves. Bless us to remember, in all circumstances, that we are the beloved; embraced despite our missteps.
Pastor Sandra D'Amico