August 2011

Lost and Found

The story of the Bible is a simple one:  it’s the story of God redeeming his lost people through Christ, his Son.  August is a great time to revel as a family in the joy of being found after knowing we were lost.  Luke 15 is a great way to celebrate.

In Luke 15, tax collectors and sinners were gathering around, wanting to listen to Jesus teach.  Pharisees and other teachers of the law observed what was happening and began to mutter about Jesus welcoming sinners and even eating with them.  In response, Jesus told three stories that centered on the theme of Lost and Found.

In the first story, Jesus describes the shepherd of one hundred sheep who discovers that one sheep is missing.  He leaves the ninety-nine behind and searches until he finds his lost sheep.  Joyfully, he tells everyone around to rejoice with him since he found the one sheep.  In the second story, a woman loses a coin.  She searches her entire home until she finds it and then calls all her friends to celebrate with her over finding that one lost coin.  In the third story, a son takes his inheritance and spends it.  When he realizes he was a fool, he returns home where his father throws a huge party to celebrate the return of his lost son.

Spend time telling each story, relishing each detail.  Act out the story with younger children.  Talk about the feelings involved in losing something valuable, in finding it again.  Tell stories of when you were lost and how you got found.  Explore how intense our feelings are and how much more Jesus feels and searches for us when we are lost.

The best part of Jesus’ first two parables is when Jesus closes each story with the pronouncement that all of heaven rejoices when one person repents!  Celebrate that all of heaven knows who your children are, cherishes your children, and celebrates them!

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