Celebrating the Found

Lost pacifier on tree (Wikimedia Commons, Philipp Antar).

Luke 15:8-10

Pacifier, binky, baby-plug. Whatever name you choose, there is no more desperate scene than a mother searching for this source of soothing as naptime approaches. A frazzled mom will turn the house upside down, frantically looking for this small, magical plug to stifle the shrill screams of her overly tired one-year-old. Trust me, I know from experience. Going room by room, pulling off couch cushions, and looking under rugs, the search continues until the binky is found and the child is pacified. Without thinking about the smallness this victory might carry for the outside world, this mother picks up the phone and calls her sister to share the joy that comes in the finding. Her sister, who knows the joy of this moment all too well, will certainly celebrate this not so small mom-win with her!

This is how I imagine the scene Luke paints for us—a desperate woman doing whatever it takes to find her lost coin. Then, upon finding it, she needs someone with whom she can celebrate!

The Common English Bible titles this chapter of Luke “Occasions for Celebration.” How often do we study the lost and found part of these stories, then stop reading? But these are not just stories of desperate searching and relieved finding, but also of shared celebration. Perhaps we feel guilty about our doubts, questions, or mistakes that take us momentarily away from God. We may dwell there, but God does not linger in our “lostness.” God even moves beyond the moment of finding and, with all of Heaven, celebrates us! No matter how small, wrong, or insignificant we may feel, God celebrates every messy, beautiful, complicated part about us! How amazing is that?

Life Questions

How long have you been dwelling in the guilt of your perceived failures, minimizing your “small” victories? What would it take to join in God’s celebration of you?

Prayer

God, we feel unworthy of celebration. Teach us that you see us differently, never minimizing us, always forgiving. Help us accept your grace. Amen.

This post originally appeared in Volume 26.2 of Reflections.

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