“Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.” Luke 15:1-10 (CEB)
I have a bad habit of losing things – mostly papers that I hold onto because I know I’ll need them at some point. I put them in a pile so they are right where I “know” I will find them, and of course, when the time comes that I need them, I CAN’T find them! I start going through my “in” and “out” boxes on my desk, check in files where I may have put them, look at my “pending” file, and then I start searching the house.
Much to my relief, I DO eventually find them, but not after a lot of frustration and anger at myself for “doing this again.” You would think I would figure out a better way, but I just don’t take the time to do it. Maybe some day . . .
In the parable of the lost coin, a woman has lost one of ten coins. I can imagine that this is a big loss for her because money didn’t come easily in her day. She did a little of what I did: she went through her pockets, swept the whole house, pulled out drawers, storage boxes, looked underneath things, and eventually she found it. The inanimate coin probably had rolled into a corner and was waving at her all along saying, “Here I am!” But of course, she wouldn’t have “heard” it anyway – instead she had to work hard to find it.
Once she picked it up, instead of being relieved and putting it in a safe place, she went out and spent it because she threw a party to celebrate that she HAD found it! Does that make sense? Not to me.
But then, this parable is about God and God’s inclusive love. When someone is “lost,” whether it’s one of us who might consider ourselves pretty faithful but who have missed the mark somewhere along the line, or whether it’s someone who has turned away from God, God goes looking. When God finds us/them, we are lifted and celebrated. We have found home. So, maybe this isn’t about being lost; rather, maybe it’s about being found.
We are found with God’s amazing grace and infinite love. We can’t understand it, but that love is so great, that every time someone turns to God or returns to God, there is great celebration! God loves us that much, and God doesn’t give up on us! Just as the shepherd who went to find one sheep and the woman who swept hard to find one coin, God finds us and celebrates us.
That’s pretty awesome. How can we not want to spend time with someone who loves us that much?
In what ways have you ever felt lost?
Where or how did God find you?
Did you know that there was a celebration?