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Lost and Found (again)
by Katie Borden
The parables that we get to spend time in this week are gold. As we read Scripture over the next couple of days, take some time to go back and read all of Luke 15 in one sitting if you haven’t already done so—the insights and observations gleaned by soaking them up in one fell swoop can be profound.
I’ll confess that I’ve often skimmed over the parable of the woman’s lost coin. These three verses often felt like an interruption to the more drama-filled and imaginative portrayals of wandering sheep and wayward children. I mean, compared to animals and humans, a coin is so boring—it doesn’t even do anything!
I think that’s exactly the point I need to remember today.
Coins have absolutely no agency.
They are not alive.
They do not make sentient choices.
They cannot “find themselves” or just decide to become un-lost.
And so it is with us when we are dead in our sin. We are actually, really, truly, powerless to obtain our own salvation. We confess this every week in our gathered worship: without Christ, we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves. In a world where we crave meaning and influence and power, this is humbling and sobering. And yet, it is also very, very good news.
When we had nothing to offer to the Lord—when we were devoid of any agency or power to act, God loved us and sought us out. He loves us not for what we do; he does not wait for us to act (and how can we when we are dead in sin?); he initiates the saving act. We cannot make ourselves alive in Christ; only Christ can do that.
And, dear ones, Christ did do that. Our Lord and Savior chose to bring life where there was none—we were lost, but now we are found because of the love of God in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. What wondrous love this is, o my soul!
Maybe today is the day you sit and prayerfully read all of Luke 15, asking the Lord to speak to you through your reading of these three parables. What is God revealing to you today about his love for you in this text? How is he calling and empowering you to respond to him?