For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10
When I was in the third grade, I attended Medicine Lake Lutheran School. The school rented a part of this old school building in St. Louis Park, MN, a suburb of Minneapolis. I remember one time during a parent/teacher conference, my brother and sister and I went exploring the main floor. We went into the auditorium where we had chapel services. The stage also doubled as our gym. I kind of knew my way around to go down the back door of the stage and come up back to the main hall.
I left my brother who was in the first grade and my preschool aged sister on the stage and went off exploring. To find that path I was certain I knew. Of course, I got turned around a few times. I went down a couple wrong hallways. I was lost. I still remember the anxiety building in me. Can I find my way back to where I started? Will I ever find my way out? Will my siblings run and tell Mom to come find me? All the while, I just kept going.
The Bible talks about us as sinners, who have done evil things, disobeyed God. And Jesus took our punishment to get us forgiveness of sins. This is most certainly true! The Bible also talks about us as being lost. Jesus parables about the lost coin and the lost sheep exemplify this. Jesus is the shepherd who leaves the 99 sheep in the pen to find the one lost little lamb.
I find this imagery encouraging. It takes the load of my effort to stop sinning and to become a better person of my shoulders. If I’m lost, there is nothing I can do. I can do nothing but wander, unable to find a way to navigate these dark halls of sin. But Jesus was the One Man search party. He left the 99 for me.
Having this imagery of lost also helps me to be more compassionate, more gracious and loving. Why? Because I am no longer lost in my sins, roaming the dark hallways unable to find my way through. I am now counted among the 99. And so are you. This compassionate, gracious love leads us to see others not as evil doers or immoral, but as lost souls. This leads us to see that we have been rescued and recruited by the Son of Man to seek and to save the lost
Written By: Pastor Bartholomew