Three stories of things lost and later found. A sheep, a coin, and a child. Christians know these stories and sometimes get to experience the kind of joy that comes from finding a precious lost thing.

It could be a little thing like the hair comb I’ve had since 6th grade. Back then I found it on the playground and in those days, a comb sticking out of the back pocket of a young person was as common as a cell phone today. Someone lost it and I found it. After about a year I lost it too, then found it again on that same playground three months later. Eight years later as a college student and youth ministry intern, I lost it again following camp. One year later I was back at the same camp in the boys’ bathroom getting ready for the day. The student next to me pulled out an orange comb and started combing his hair. I said, “Hey, that looks just like a comb I lost at this camp last year.” He said, “Oh, maybe it’s yours, I’m not sure how I got it, but I noticed it in my travel kit after we came to this camp last year.” He insisted I take it back. (Strangely, he was also wearing a pair of jeans I hadn’t been able to find since camp a year before. I let him keep those.) I took the comb back and bought him a shake during free time. In fact, I bought a treat for the whole cabin. I was stoked to get my comb back. It may not seem like much, but it really is a great comb, I’ve never seen or found another like it and it just feels better. Finding the lost thing feels good.

Luke 15, “Rejoice with me; I have found… my lost sheep… my lost coin… For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” Finding lost things brings joy and is cause for celebration. Jesus said, “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” People are precious to God. Heaven celebrates when people get found. Believers who see the people around them as precious are, like heaven, active in the search of and longing for the celebration of repentance too. The Joy of finding.

John Riley
JH Pastor

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