Sunday, May 17, 2009

I Found God In The "Lost and Found..."

At the end of the school year, the "Lost-n-Found" bin at school is just overflowed with items: Jackets from those days that started with chilly mornings but gave way to warm afternoons... Gloves and Hats that were discarded during recess... the latest "craze" toys (Bakugan, Pokemon, Pogs, etc.)... Notebooks and pens and keychains... Of course, the really "PRIZED," lost possessions never seem to show up in the Lost-n-Found. Things like lost iPods, money, homework never make their way to that Rubbermaid tub.

And often, these lonely, lost items are never reunited with their owners. Coats are outgrown, gloves and hats are long-forgotten (until next year's snowy day). The contents of the tub are donated to Good Will where they will find new homes.. and ironically, might end up in some other school's Lost-n-Found the following year.

Can you imagine if that Lost-n-Found bin was full of people? Lost people... not the directional-peanuts (like myself!!) who cannot even be easily guided by Google Maps... but the spiritually lost people who are ever searching for the one thing that will give their life meaning. The ones who, maybe, just go through the motions by saying all the "right" things or meeting all the "right" people. Perhaps these lost souls even go to church - but, again - like me for many, many years - never FEEL God or faith or comfort or His presence. For the lost, church is just a building filled with posers or pot-luck dinners.

But consider the story of Zacchaeus the Tax Collector (Luke 19:1-9)

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner.' "
But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."

Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."

Jesus is like the ultimate detective... diligently searching out those who are are lost. He doesn't give up on you. He has endless patience. He is always welcoming. And when you turn to Him, He will accept you with open arms.

...We had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again;
he was lost and is found. (Luke 15:32)
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