Seeking the Lost

 

Theme: Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. Proper 19 (24) Yr. C
Object: A precious ring. (It might be a wedding ring!)
Scripture: "Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?" Luke 15:8 (NIV)

Everyone has lost something at one time or another. It can be a sickening feeling to discover that you have lost something — especially something that is very important to you. This morning, I am going to tell you about a man who lost a ring — a ring that was very precious to him.

One day, a family went out to a lake on a Saturday afternoon for a picnic. The father and his son walked out to the edge of the lake where they sat down on a log and took their shoes off. The father also removed his watch and ring and placed them in one of his shoes. They had a good time splashing and playing in the water. When it was time to go home, the father sat down on the log and put his shoes and watch back on. He didn't even notice when his ring fell out of his shoe onto the ground. They loaded up the car and went home.

The next morning the family got up and went to church. As the pastor was preaching, the father looked down at his hands and realized that he wasn't wearing his ring. At first he thought, "I must have forgotten to put my ring on when I was getting ready for church." But then he remembered that he had taken his ring off when they were playing in the water the day before. As soon as church was over, they hurried to the car and drove to the lake. In his mind the father thought to himself, "I know I will never see my ring again!" When they arrived at the lake, the father jumped out of the car and ran down to the edge of the water. To his amazement, when he looked down beside the log where he had sat to remove his shoes, there was his ring!

As you can imagine, the man was overjoyed to find his ring! For weeks he told everyone he saw about how he had lost his precious ring and then had found it again!

In our Bible lesson today, Jesus told a story about a woman who lost something. The story is called, "The Parable of the Lost Coin" and it goes like this. . . "Suppose, a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn't she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? When she finds it, she will call in her friends and say to them, 'Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.' In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God's angels when even one sinner repents."

Why did Jesus tell this story? Many of the religious leaders of the day were critical of Jesus because he was associating with sinful people. He was even eating with them! He even visited in their homes! Jesus wanted the religious leaders to understand that he came to seek and save those who were lost. He also wanted to make it clear that just as we would be joyful if we found something we had lost, everyone in heaven is also joyful whenever even just one sinner turns from sin and returns to obeying God.

Dear Father, we are thank you that Jesus came to seek and save the lost. We thank you for the parables that he told to remind us that we belong to you. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.