In Luke 15 Jesus tells some stories about things that have been lost.  A shepherd who goes after one sheep, leaving 99 behind while he does so.  A woman with 10 coins searches frantically for one that is lost.  Both then celebrate when the one is found.  Sometimes when I read those stories I think, “Yeah, right. Who would really do that?”  Jesus says that God really does that.  But, I remain unconvinced that God really comes after me. And I think, those are nice stories Jesus – but not applicable for 2013.

It’s been a bit wet this week.  This year has been a struggle for moisture as our area has tried to recover from a drought.  Now this – too late and too much.  My little corner of the world hasn’t been devastated, but I watch in amazement at the power of water not far from home.  I pray for those who have had to flee their homes, watch their homes or businesses be washed away or who mourn the loss of life.

Then I notice that some of the stories I’m hearing are awfully similar to Jesus’ stories.  Rescue personnel from police departments, fire stations, hospitals, the National Guard and other public servants are the hands of God going out to seek and find the lost.  They risk their lives to do this.  They go where everyone has been told not to go.  They will go back for the one even after the 99 heeded advice and evacuated.  They will search until they are satisfied there is no one left who needs their help.  They will look under water, under bridges, under downed trees and broken buildings.  They will not give up even when things look impossible.   They'll look for any and everyone - no qualifications.  And then, oh – the celebration when someone is found!

We don’t need to look any further than the news to see the stories Jesus is telling today.  Stories plucked right out of Luke 15 that demonstrate God’s mercy and grace for each one of us.  Deserving or not, God celebrates when we are found.

Thanks be to God for those who risk their lives to seek and save the lost in times of disaster.  Thanks be to God for a God who does the same for each of us.

We’ll be looking for you tomorrow at 9 or 10:30 as we gather to remind one another of God’s unending joy at finding us, to pray for all who have been impacted by the floods and to rejoice with our brother, Rev Kelly who joins us in worship.

God bless you,

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