Freerange Friday: We are Found, Valued and Celebrated

by Lilly Lewin

By Lilly Lewin

Reflecting on last week’s Gospel Reading Luke 15: 1-10

Sometimes it’s hard to see that we are Lost
And other times, it is hard to believe that we are actually Found…
That we are actually searched for and sought after by the Good Shepherd.
Why does Jesus care about me?
Why does Jesus want me in his flock when I’ve got so many problems, so many doubts, so many fears…when I fail so many times to live up to who I want to be and who I think he has created me to be.

Thankfully that’s not the economy of Jesus.
God doesn’t judge the way I do.
God/Jesus is Gracious and loving and forgives.
God searches for the lost sheep and the lost coin.
And God/Jesus doesn’t just search for the coin,
Doesn’t just leave the others to look for the Lost Sheep,
God/Jesus celebrates the Lost One when it is found.

Too often I cannot even fathom this!
Too often I cannot comprehend this amazing love, care and compassion.

As someone who has followed Jesus a very long time, I get stuck on this passage as one for
People who don’t know Jesus yet. They are the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coins of the world, not me.
Yet truly, I am the Lost Sheep
Really, I am the Lost Coin in need of finding, in need of being carried home, in need of being celebrated by my Creator.

What does being celebrated really look like?
What will it take for me to really receive that celebration?
To receive being Found?

I know from experience that sheep are very stubborn.
We had a sheep named Sally who would stomp her foot when she didn’t like something or when she felt threatened. Stubborn…
Just like I am.
So what if the lost sheep doesn’t want to go with the Shepherd?
What if the sheep thinks they know more than the Shepherd?
I think the Shepherd sits down on a rock or on a grassy hill and lets that silly sheep just be alone for awhile.
He watches her and waits for her to notice his care and his compassion and his patience.

A wise teacher named Rujon Morrison once said, “ God has manners, God doesn’t barge in, God knocks, and waits for us to open the door.” The point is that we have the handle on the door. We have the ability to open up and let God in. You and I have the ability to let God/Jesus find us and carry us home.
And not just find us, but be celebrated as one of the chosen ones, the valued ones, the cherished ones!

I want to live like this! 
I want to live in the Foundness of Jesus.
As one valued and cherished. Not just as a stubborn sheep.
Let’s receive this gift!

ACTION:

After reading Luke 15: 1-10 Take some time to journal through these questions:
  1. It’s Foolish to leave the 99 and search for one lost sheep, yet the Good Shepherd leaves the Safe sheep to find the One who has lost it’s way. How have you felt lost lately? What things keep you feeling lost? Talk to Jesus about this.
  2.  How have you felt found? Or Have you felt found? Do you feel celebrated by God? Would you like to be carried home and thrown a party? What would it feel like to be celebrated by Jesus? What would it take to believe that Jesus/God loves you enough to find you and celebrate you?

Buy some lamb’s wool or a toy sheep to hold in your hand to remind you that Jesus is seeking you and wants to find you. We found lamb’s wool in the pharmacy but it’s on amazon too! Use this wool or sheep as a prayer tool to remind you to pray for others who are feeling lost rather than found and need to know the love and honor of Jesus.

Find something that makes you feel celebrated and use it as a reminder that God/Jesus wants you to feel valued and celebrated and totally loved. I currently have helium balloons leftover from a party that I am using to remind me that Jesus finds and celebrates me. What is your symbol? What makes you feel celebrated? Talk to Jesus about this.

The rest of Luke 15 is the story of the Prodigal Son. (you can read it if you’d like ) Consider this quote :

“I have been meditating on the story of the prodigal son. It is a story about returning. I realize the importance of returning over and over again. My life drifts away from God. I have to return. My heart moves away from my first love. I have to return. My mind wanders to strange images. I have to return. Returning is a lifelong struggle. . . . I am moved by the fact that the father didn’t require any higher motivation. His love was so total and unconditional that he simply welcomed his son home.” Henri Nouwen

How does it make you feel to know that you are Welcomed Home and you are being looked for like a coin or a lost sheep?

©lillylewin and freerangeworship.com

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