This week’s assigned gospel text from Luke 15 is about celebrations that take place when that which is lost is found. A 3-year old’s miracle earlier this year can also serve a spiritual metaphor for us.
Casey Hathaway was reported missing from his grandmother’s home in rural North Carolina on Tuesday, January 22, 2019. He was discovered missing when he didn’t come back into the house with the other children. His family contacted the police. An extensive search including hundred of volunteers helping state and federal law enforcement combed the rugged area, joined by canines, aircraft and drones. The search was interrupted by heavy rains and wind, and volunteers were told to stop searching because of safety concerns. As the hours passed, authorities feared that Casey, who weighs 25 pounds and stand 28 inches tall, wasn’t dressed warm enough for the weather conditions.
Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes said, “We did not give up. We were very persistent.” After two days of frantic searching, Casey was found alive, having survived the cold, rain and presumable critters in the North Carolina woods. There was great relief, rejoicing and celebrating that the little boy lost had been found.
First, we often find ourselves lost when we stray from the safety of hope in a relationship with our Divine Parent, God; but we are not lost to God. God always knows where we are.
Second, God never gives up trying to help us find our way back into a restored relationship with God. If we don’t have that, then we need to go “searching in God’s lost and found department” of unconditional love, forgiveness, grace, mercy and acceptance. It is there, that we have the ability to survive the cold, rain and critters robbing us of God’s best for our lives. And all of Heaven rejoices with us as they did in Eurhle, NC, when Casey Hathaway was found safe and alive.
Join us this Sunday at Covenant for worship. My sermon will be “Searching in God’s Lost and Found Department” based on Luke 15:1-10.