Recently someone drew my attention to the three “lost parables” in Luke chapter 15 – the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin and the Lost Son.
Each of the parables follows a similar pattern. Something (or someone) is lost, and there is celebration when the “lost” is found.
Interestingly, when the sheep (one of 100) and the coin (one of ten) are lost, the parables emphasise their “owner” searching for them, however when the son is lost, although there is no doubt that the father loves him, there is no searching.
Imagine if the story had gone like this…
Some time later the older son came to his father and said, “I love you father, and I know that your heart aches for my younger brother. Please allow me to travel to the land that he now lives in, and bring him home.”
… And while they were still a long way off, their father saw them coming home.
Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his sons, embraced them and kissed them …
And their father said to them, “Let us celebrate, the lost has been found, the family is complete again!”, and together they joined the celebrations.
How easy it is to wait for God to bring the “lost” to us, and not look for the opportunities for us to bring the “lost” back to Him.