Luke 15

A lost sheep, a lost coin and a lost son.  This is a story about celebrating things of great value that have been found!
Let’s not focus on the fact that these three things are lost.  The point of the passage is that Jesus values and seeks earnestly for people who aren’t part of the Kingdom.  Here are a couple of brief thoughts on this very familiar passage:
1.  The sheep may know that it is lost, but it can’t do anything about it.  The coin has no idea that it is lost.  Only the son is able to recognize his condition and respond.  In that way you and I are unique in all of creation.  We are gifted with awareness by God.  You can deceive yourself into believing that you aren’t lost, or that you don’t need “saving”, but there is a part of you that knows otherwise.  God has given you the ability to recognize your eternal state, and that’s a wonderful gift.  It’s the gift that allows you to decide to “head for home” and that’s where the Father meets you.   You don’t even have to make it there, God comes to meet you on the way.  All you have to do is get started, and He will rush to your side.  Why?
Because He loves you.  God loves you like no one else can, He loves you in a way, and to a depth that cannot be matched on earth.  He loves you in the way that you would love something you created that was unique and wonderful, except He loves you even more than you love that.
So, you can choose to be a sheep, which bleats out a sorrowful note while it aimlessly walks into dangerous situations, and eventually ends up starving or destroyed.   Or, you can choose to be a coin and sit quietly where you are insisting that you know exactly where you are and you don’t need anyone to rescue you.  Both of those options only end one way for humans.  We die in our sins.  That’s significant because if we die with our sins still attached to us, we have to pay for them ourselves.  The Bible tells us that we don’t possess what we need to pay the price…not in this life or the next, so we will be placed into confinement as a result.  That place of confinement is hell, a place of torture, pain and desperation.  No one is having a good time in hell.  There aren’t any parties going on there, only wailing and intolerable pain…and I suspect, hate.  In hell I think hate and envy will be completely released to work their destruction.  They will consume those who are forced to abide there, causing them to scream out in eternal emotional anguish, as well as physical anguish.   There are no relationships in hell.
The third option seems far better by comparison.   Choose to be the son.  Admit that you have made some bad choices and squandered your inheritance.  There isn’t anything you can do about the past now, it’s past.   Your decisions today concern the future.  Will your future simply be a downward spiral of your past?  Or will you choose a different route moving forward?   Leave the pig-pen, the road home beckons.  Your Father is anxiously waiting for you to begin the journey.   Did you hear what Luke said?   He has been fattening a calf for this very day.   A robe and sandal in your size are set aside for you in heaven.  A ring that fits your finger is ready for your arrival.   The party is being planned, there isn’t any judgement here, no condemnation from the One who Loves us oh, so deeply.
Turn around.
Run home.
Don’t be the sheep or the coin.   Put the situational awareness that God gave you to use.
Leave that failed lifestyle and the dark consequences of it behind.
The Father says “Come!”
Running to Jesus,