40 Days of Hope
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Wednesday, April 17
I Once was Lost, But Now I’m Found
Luke 15 contains three parables about lostness: A lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son. Each one ends with a celebration after what was lost has been found.
Today's text is one of the most famous stories Jesus ever told. A family had two sons. The younger son wanted his inheritance early, and his father let him have it. The boy squandered his entire fortune in wild living in a faraway land. In desperation, in the midst of a severe famine, he landed a job on a farm. His job? Slopping hogs.
As anyone knows, this is about as low as a Jewish man could sink. He believed pigs were unclean animals. He was so depleted that he was willing to eat the food given to the pigs!
Finally, he came to his senses and began to reflect on life on his father’s farm. His heart began to turn, and he repented of his rebellion. He took-off and headed home. He rehearsed his speech of repentance. When he appeared in the distance, his father saw him --- because he was looking for him to return. His father ran to meet him. The son expressed his repentance, and his father received him with love and grace. The family threw a huge party that everyone but the elder brother enjoyed. What a story!
Actually, this is our story. Because of our sin, we have been separated from God. It is like living in a far country. Instead of enjoying the bliss of fellowship with our Father, we are like hired servants toiling away in the most meaningless endeavors. When we come to our senses, we realize how much we need to come home. We repent and turn from our sinfulness and receive the grace of our loving Father. He welcomes sinners home. The angels in heaven throw a party every time it happens!
In the midst of this Holy Week, we are reminded of just how lost we are without Christ. Our lives are meaningless without Him. We are wasting away engaging in a life that leads to nowhere. We are lost!
Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. He came for us! His Way is the way back to the Father! I can praise God today --- I once was lost but now am found!
The message of Easter is one of hope. We do not have to remain in our lostness. We can find hope in the life-giving message of the Gospel!