Today's Lectionary Text
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? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.
I cannot stand to lose something. It drives me crazy! Every time I have lost something, it is all I think about. Nothing else matters in that moment. I am laser-focused on finding it. Even the smallest of things, regardless of value. My actions are fully consumed until I’ve found what is lost. Each time I read these verses I am still taken aback at the woman’s diligence to find one coin and her subsequent rejoicing. This is how God sees me in my sin. I may feel that what I am dealing with is “small” or “insignificant in value,” but just as I search tirelessly for that which is lost, my Father in heaven does even more for me.
Each action step has meaning. Firstly, the woman felt the need for light right away and went into action lighting a lamp. I know when I have lost something, I turn on as much light as I can get. I have even been known to use the flashlight feature on the phone (as long as I am not looking for my phone)! It can be harder to find things without light. We need an outside source to begin the search. God is always the source bringing eternal light. When we have strayed from God’s will, He graciously, by the power of the Holy Spirit, brings our sin into the light. He shines His perfect light on it. Not to shame or scold, but to help us see that which we might be hiding from our own sight. In His love, He does this.
Secondly, the woman swept the house. I tend to use looking for something as an excuse to clean while searching for the lost item. Displacing dirt, or moving things in the way, can help remove what needs to be found and make it more obvious. This act made it more possible for the woman to find the coin. I think this symbolizes the need to open up and admit that things are not clean. Transparency with others opens a channel for God’s grace to work through self-discovery.
Lastly, the woman searched diligently. Her work ethic behind the task was an immediate action to waste no time. It is easy to get caught up in other tasks and to become distracted. I have a laser-focus until I can find what is lost. Other people and problems are a distraction from my task at hand. I know I can be this way with dismissing my sin and my shortcomings. I come up with excuses or rationalize my actions or lack thereof. Am I this way when it comes to my friends who I know that are lost or are not following Jesus? Do I care more about their approval or my status than I do pointing them to Jesus? I must be diligent, always, as He is with me. He is never too distracted to tend to me, too busy to see my cries for help. How am I doing this in my own life, with those He has put in my care? Even within my home, the children that God has blessed me with are lost and need a spiritual pursuit from me like the woman did in this illustration of her lost coin.
In the season I am in, raising young children, I realize that a baby does not come out of their mother’s womb knowing God. Children are taught as we share stories about Jesus and point our daily actions towards following God. The verses point to searching for God’s children who are spiritually lost and require a spiritual pursuit within their home through discipleship. If I open up. If I respond. If I communicate to those in my home and in my circles, I can join in God’s work of bringing the lost back to Him, joining in the rejoicing! If I open up in my own heart, if I respond to that which God shines a light on and cleanses, if I communicate my repentance, I can join God in rejoicing!
Coordinator of Lay Leadership
Prayer for Reflection
In loss and in finding
In seeking and in being sought
In despair and in rejoicing
God is with me
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