Seraching, Finding or Celebrating?
Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? That is the question the disciples asked of Jesus to start off this conversation! Have you ever wondered who will be the greatest? Maybe it will be Mother Theresa or Billy Graham? No, according to Jesus (and I think he would know!) it will be a child or someone who takes the posture of a child. A child-like (not childish!) faith or someone who extends a spirit of welcoming to a child will be blessed in the kingdom. It is a foundational principle of the teachings of Jesus.
The initial question leads us to our Gospel reading for today. It is Matthew’s version of the Luke 15 parable of the lost sheep. Here we answer another important question about the kingdom of faith. What will happen if one of God’s children gets lost?
Have you ever been lost? I remember a long winter hike my brother and I made into the back country around Guanella Pass. The snow was deep, the white glare was blinding, the wind was bitter and we got off course. In our hurry to find shelter we got turned around again and again. It was literally the grace of God that got us out of that jam. We were lost.
So what does God do when one of the children of God gets lost? Yes, absolutely! God searches, finds, and celebrates! It is the divine cycle of loving grace. Search, find, and celebrate; that is the sequence that brings joy to the heart of God.
We might think about the prevenient grace of God that is always on the lookout for people who get separated from the flock. It is a reality that is built into the very nature of God. I wonder if you would take a moment to reflect on your life as it fits into that cycle of discovery. Is God searching, finding, or celebrating over your faith right not? Here is the good news…at this very moment; God is probably doing all three at the very same time! The goal…that none would be lost!