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Lost, Found, and Celebrated

It was a gift book, presented to me by the pastors that I had been teaching in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.  “100 Reasons to Love the Cardinals” was a book about my favorite baseball team, the St Louis Cardinals.  I read it on the flight back home.  When we landed, I put the book in my overhead luggage, but when I arrived home, the book was missing.  I looked everywhere.  I knew I had placed the book in my luggage, but it was not in there.  Lost!  Maybe I just thought I put it in my luggage. A week went by as I grieved over the missing book. Then, one evening, my wife walked into the den carrying a book and asked, “Is this your book?” It was.  My lost book had been found.  Apparently, it fell out of my luggage as I was unpacking and landed under the bed. My wife saw the edge of it from the hallway and found it. It reminded me of a favorite chapter in the Bible – often called the “Lost and Found Chapter.”  In Luke 15, Jesus shares three parables: (1) The lost sheep – a man owned 100 sheep, one wooly little critter wandered.  The Shepherd went looking and found it, then called the others and celebrated; (2) The lost coin – a widow lost one of ten coins. She turned the house upside down until the coin was found, at which time she called friends and celebrated; (3) The lost son – a man had two sons (could have been daughters just as well).  One wandered; one stayed home. The story ends with a celebration.  I had always read (and preached on) these parables with emphasis on lostness, but when my lost book was found, I celebrated.  My sermon just got longer . . . and better.


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