Friday, March 12, 2010

Sunday Preview: Losing and Finding

Two of my primary resources for sermon preparation are my friend Sarah Dylan Breuer's blog and Exegetical Notes by (Lutheran) Pastor Brian Stoffregen. Both offer me some very interesting ways of looking at any given text, and the text for this coming Sunday is no exception. In Brian's commentary, he says the following about the Parable of the Prodigal Son:

My friend used the example of misplacing his truck keys. He knew where the spare key was -- with his wife -- 45 miles away. The absence of his keys made him feel incomplete -- at a loss -- life was not right for him because those keys were not where they should be.

An implication of this is that congregations, rather than thinking of the unchurched as "the lost" whom need to be found, (which also means that we consider ourselves as "the found,") or "the lost" who need to find their way back home; we might consider ourselves to be incomplete without those for whom Christ has also died.

We hear a lot about "the lost" when discussing mission and evangelism. "They" tend to be "out there," because certainly anyone in a pew on a Sunday morning couldn't possibly be "lost"! Yet how often do we actually consider the church incomplete without "them"? Perhaps more profoundly, how often do we acknowledge that, more often then we might like to admit, we can become lost ourselves--cut off, sometimes inadvertently, from our relationship with God. Some things to think about, to be sure...

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