Lost and Found

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The Gospel reading today from Luke 15 contains three of Jesus' stories, all of which are hopefully familiar. All three are about something, or someone, that gets lost and then found. The first is about a lost sheep, the second about a lost coin. The last is probably the most famous – the prodigal son. A man has two sons and the younger son insists that he receive his inheritance now. So the father capitulates, and the son goes off and squanders his inheritance on booze and women and wild times. A broken man, he tucks his tail tween his legs and goes back to his father begging to be taken back. The father not only welcomes him home, but throws a big banquet for the boy. Of course, this is a parable about how our heavenly Father rejoices when we return from the wasteland of sin.

The older brother bristles at the treatment of the younger brother. But the father says to him, “But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.” It’s really pretty easy to get lost. The world has so many big and bright and shiny signs that all point us in the wrong direction. Confusion abounds. And sometimes we just have to “hit bottom” before we can begin to clear our heads and see the signs that point us back to God. If you’re a bit lost, take a moment to pause and ask God for the way home. When you find it, there’s one heck of a party waiting for you!

Father, you how easily we get lost. Open our eyes and our hearts, that we may find our way back to you today. Amen.

Today's Readings


  • Tony Zimmermann: September 13, 2022

    Sep 12 2022
    Thoughts on the Parable of Prodigal Son

    Why did not the father send the servants out to the field to announce the arrival of the younger brother?

    Perhaps the father knew the older son still harbored ill feelings against his younger brother and knew that the older son would refuse to come to the house and join in the party if the servants brought the message, but if allowed to finish his day’s work and draw near the house, then at the father’s invitation he would come in and reconcile with his brother.
    The older brother’s feelings about the situation were obvious in his retort to his father. His younger brother’s feelings toward their father was obvious when he essentially said that he could not wait for his father to die and then he could get money, vice land, and go spend it.

    The younger brother was the sinning Jewish population who repented and sought out Christ. The older brother was the Pharisees who obeyed the letter of the law but did not truly respect the Law and the Giver of the Law. They rejected the invitation to join the party. But, according to the Scriptures, some did. And then, there was that one member of the Pharisees who did not accept the initial invitation from Christ and had to encounter Him on the road to Damascus.

    Sometimes, God has to get our attention when He invites us to the Party. Occasionally, He has to use the two-by-four approach—like a 2×4 upside our head.


  • Tony Zimmermann: September 13, 2022

    So, I posed this question to our study group: consider yourself working in a food line for the homeless. A person known to you as a regular comes through, but this time looks as though something is on her/his mind. What would you say in 60 sec to someone wondering if they should return or not?
    The responses ranged from “take a leap of faith” to “poor child, have an extra helping of mashed potatoes”.

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