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Tag Archives: lost

The Day of the Lord is Near

6Wail, for the day of the Lord is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty! 7Therefore all hands will be feeble, and every human heart will melt, 8and they will be dismayed. Pangs and agony will seize them; they will be in anguish like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at one another; their faces will be aflame. 9See, the day of the Lord comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the earth a desolation, and to destroy its sinners from it. 10For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be dark at its rising, and the moon will not shed its light. (Isaiah 13:6-10, NRSV)

The day of the Lord is not going to be a pleasant day. There will be judgment and no one will be comforted until it is over.

Hands will be feeble and unable to do anything and hearts will melt, not like a good melt, like my heart melts every time I see you. A bad melt like the opening of the Ark of the Covenant on Raiders of the Lost Ark kind of melt…

It is not a day we want to happen, but we need to know that we will make it through because we are covered by the blood of the lamb. We are set apart and will endure. Doesn’t mean there won’t be judgment or anguish, but we will survive.

So help others know the love God has for them so that they might be set apart with us.

 

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Lost Sheep, Lost Coin

Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. 2And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” 3So he told them this parable: 4“Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? 5When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. 6And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 7Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. 8“Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? 9When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ 10Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:1-10, NRSV)

This chapter is about lost things. Things that someone has lost and how they can be found.

It is also sometimes known for being about repentance.

If it is about repentance, how does a sheep repent and how does a coin repent?

You see I want to say these stories are not about the sheep or the coin. They are major players in the story but they are not the main ones.

The first story is about you and the second one is about a woman. They are about the people that lost the things. The shepherd, or you, look high and low for the sheep that wondered off leaving the rest of the flock to fend for each other. And the woman turns the house over looking for the lost coin.

How far would you go to find something you lost?

And what would you do once it is found?

 

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The Boy Jesus in the Temple

41Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. 42And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. 43When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it.44Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. 45When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. 46After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.48When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” 49He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50But they did not understand what he said to them.51Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor. (Luke 2:41-52, NRSV)

If you ever thought you were a bad parent, then this is your verse. Here Mary and Joseph leave Jesus in the Temple for three days!

They assumed he was with their family somewhere in the group as they traveled and only after a days journey did they start to worry. But Jesus was where he should have been, in his Father’s house.

And isn’t that really where all of us should be?

 

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The Boy Jesus in the Temple

Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor. (Luke 2:41-52, NRSV)

Why did you have to look? Did you not know I would be in my Father’s house?

Jesus was teaching in the temple at age 12 with authority the Pharisees did not have or understand. He was amazing everyone with His grasp on who God is.

Do we want to know all of the answers?

Or can we live in the knowledge that our Father has all the answers?

Do we look for Jesus?

Or do we think we know where to find Him?

 

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BUT…

For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, despicable, hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:3-7, NRSV)

We were once lost, foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to our own passions and pleasure.

Then God came and saved us from ourselves.

We were once all separated from God BUT then God came in and saved us.

Always remember don’t put a period where God puts a comma…

 

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press on

Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us then who are mature be of the same mind; and if you think differently about anything, this too God will reveal to you. Only let us hold fast to what we have attained. (Philippians 3:7-16, NRSV)

I write this blog days after Harvey has finished dropping an exorbitant amount of water on Houston and surrounding areas of Texas. And after watching a video of a friend of my wife’s spouse talk about how a wall missing in their house will mean that everything in that room is just stuff and we will count it all as lost, but at least we are all still alive and safe.

I think of the massive clean up and efforts to restore life to normal. While most of us go about our days outside of Texas as if nothing happened. Not that it isn’t reality, but we are not there, it is not our restoration. We pray for them and send funds and items to help, yet do we get it. As a parishioner told me, I get in my car and come home as any other day. We can’t fathom the loss or the hurting.

Yet all those in the wake of Harvey press on. They press on knowing they are not alone. They press on with assistance from long time friends and family and from strangers. There are efforts of many people dropping in on areas hit by Harvey and helping families clean up and remove debris and restore what they can and rebuild what can’t be fixed.

Because stuff is only that, stuff. And life is about more than stuff.

Do not think of your things as gods, but follow Jesus and help others to see that He is the prize worth pressing on towards. And in that pressing on, others will see His love too!

 

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lost

“Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven. What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost. (Matthew 18:10-14, NRSV)

The shepherd will come after you if you leave the flock and wander off.

He leaves the rest of the flock, on the side of the mountain, in the wilderness, to go searching for the 1 that was lost. Not because He cares more for the 1 than the 99, but He cares for all the sheep and all need to be with the flock.

So He goes searching and will risk His life to keep the sheep safe.

For one of the least of these, the savior will go to great lengths.

 

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