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LOST AND FOUND

The Upper Room Devotion for Friday, January 26, 2024, was written by Valerie Clark of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.


 

Scripture


11Then Jesus said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. 13A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. 14When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. 16He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. 17But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father's hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! 18I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.” ’ 20So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. 21Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate. 25“Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. 27He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’ 28Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. 29But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’ 31Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’ ”

Luke 15:11-32 NRSV

 

Author's Thoughts


As I grow older, I am more inclined to foget where I've put things. So I have developed the habit of asking God to help me find what I've lost, and God graciously responds. In our scripture from Luke 15, we read of a lost coin, a lost sheep, and a lost son. Each was precious to the one who had suffered the loss, and great was the rejoicing when the lost was found.

Many people have lost something that they think they will never find; a reputation, innocence, faith, hope, joy, enthusiasm, vision, purpose. Many have lost their first love for God. But when Jesus told these stories, he was offering hope for restoration.

Yes, God is kind and helps us with everyday situations - like lost household items. But God is greatly concerned about people who are lost - those who have drifted away or who have never been close to begin with. God longs to bring all of us home and restore us. When we have lost our way in the struggles of life, we can come to God and pour our heart out to our loving Father. God will always welcome us, embrace us, love us, and restore us.

 

Pastor Anthony's Thoughts

Friends,

I invite you to reread Valerie's reflection and ponder this question: How can I partner with God today to help someone who may feel lost and disconnected?

 

Author's Prayer


Dear God, may the love you show us through others lead us back to you. Amen.




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