It was a beautiful day. Bright sunshine, blue skies, slight breeze and music enjoyed by all. This was the setting for the sermon at DUMC last Sunday, October 22nd. We had the service outside as part of the Fall Festival. There were games, a bouncy house, a fun slide, prizes, food and music. Can you tell what I really liked?
Of course there was a sermon too. Continuing the parabole of the lost, this week the story of the prodigal son was explained. It seems that many storytellers gloss over the fact that the son that asked for his inheritance early was viewed as wishing his father was dead. The whole village was up in arms over the rude behavior of the boy. Pastor Teresa looked at how the village would have acted towards the boy as he returned — how they would have been ready to ridicule and harass the young man as he came back. That is until his father did the most unexpected thing — welcomed the child back with open, loving arms. Our Father wants to welcome us in the same way.
This past Sunday was a glorious day — a beautiful, yet hot, day. It was great to spend it with good friends and food. It was fun to listen to the host of singers that shared their talents with us. It was even funny when the canopy we were under tried to blow away. But it was the thought that we are always welcomed here in our Father’s house (or yard) that should have us running with joy.
This week’s sermon discussed the paraboles of the one sheep of 100 that got lost and the one coin of ten that the lady lost. The almost comically mental image of the lady lighting a lamp in midday and doing Spring Cleaning even though it was not spring to find that one coin will stick in my mind for a while. But maybe it is only comical to me to because I have been there. I have searched the whole house with every light on to find my keys or my glasses or some other everyday item.
But what if you were the one lost coin or the one lost sheep? Far from where you belonged? alone? afraid, maybe? trapped? Would you not want some one to search for you?
Jesus searches the world everyday for the ones who are lost, alone, frightened! He searches in darkness and light. I know that he searched for me when I was wondering in the light. My faith walk was never true. I grew up believing but believing in what? God, surely. Forgiveness, most definitely. Needing to be in a community of believers??? There I faltered. I did not grow up in a church; I did not grow up reading the Bible; but I believed in God and Jesus. I am thankful that Jesus kept searching for me even though I was only alone without my community of fellow believers. I love my church family very much and I love to help develop a church family for others. Others may have been lost in darkness; needing God to search for them even harder than for me. But I am thankful none the less.
Next Sunday we will hear about the Prodigal Son. Now there was someone else lost in the light; fallen from grace; alone without a community to belong to. I will listen and glean a new meaning from the story as I relate to being the one that was lost.