24th Sun Year C
Christian conversion is promoted by conversation. This section is a response to and a development on the knowledge gained from the commentary section.
This Sunday's Exposition
Another name for heaven could be ‘The Lost and Found Department’. Those who have experienced being found by God, after being lost, know the profound joy and celebration that brings. And having experienced it, they want to go and search for others to bring them into that joy. So all in our churches do that?...well, maybe not. So, we in the churches, we, the good people writing this material, reading this material, maybe even preaching on it, have to ask ourselves where we have lost the plot, lost our bearings, become lost. This is not such a bad thing, oh no, indeed. Because we know that is where we met the God who loves to find the lost and loves to celebrate afterwards.
Where we are or have been lost is something intensely personal. It may well have been in a lifestyle of dissolute behaviour typified by the younger son in the parable. But, more likely in my experience amongst good, fine people, our lostness is like that of the older son. It is interesting to hear good churched people defending the anger of the older son. (Yes, and I, too, know how he feels.) But that older son is lost. He is tied up by his slavery to good deeds and weighted down by anger. He sees his father, and probably God as well, as someone to be appeased. He is lost in his twisted take on reality. The father has to come looking for him, to try pleading and persuading to get him to come in. The father didn’t have to do that with the younger son. Life itself gave him the tough serves that made him see reality aright. But the older son has to have his heart and mind persuaded to come in and celebrate.
And with the word ‘celebrate’ we see the crux of the matter. We are made for joy and, leaving aside time of deep grief, we should be able to enter into the joy of God and the joy of another. If we cannot, we are lost. But do not despair! As certain as the rising of the sun, God is looking for us. So where have you experienced your lostness?