Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Seeking the Lost

Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to Jesus. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So he told them this parable: “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
“Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:1-10

When we lived in Sitka, the US Coast Guard was a very real and critical presence. The base was on Baranof Island and we regularly saw their helicopters flying out to rescue the lost and capsized. In the cold waters, folks didn't last too long. Every July 4th and Alaska Day they would give demonstrations of their rescues. The chopper would fly so close to the surface of the water that the turbulence seemed unbearable. Much like the turbulence of today. They saved so many, with such skill and compassion that I have to trust that God will likewise rescue us who feel like we are drowning.

Jesus was confronted by the religious leaders, as always. They wondered why he hung with the bad crowd. His reply was simply that therein lies the active work of God, to seek out the lost, to rescue, heal and return them to the heart of God. On this day after a national election, some might feel very lost, as others might be rejoicing. Remember that God's work is to seek out and rescue the lost. In every day and every situation.

Today I ask God to help me trust in the loving and ready response of a loving God. May we not despair in these days but seek to serve God as we seek those who are hurting and lost today.

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