written by kwasi kena
Lectionary (Year C): 16th Sunday after Pentecost (Green)
Jeremiah 4:11-12 or Exodus 32:7-14; Psalm 14 or Psalm 51:1-10; 1 Timothy 1:12-17; Luke 15:1-10
Theme: Precious to God
Message: Few things push us into overdrive like the search for a lost object we value. In today’s passage Jesus tells two parables depicting the joy of finding something of value that was lost. To God, lost people are much more precious than lost things. When people are “found” or, more often, when people find God, heaven rejoices. How excited are we when we witness someone finding God?
Quote(s): “I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.” – Psalm 119:62
Illustration: After returning from their honeymoon, Julie, a new bride, searched everywhere for the missing crystal vase. Frank, her husband, feigned sincere concern over the prospect of never finding it. They’d gotten four others. For Frank it was just one gift among many. “I could easily buy her another vase and we could get on with our lives,” he thought. For Julie, losing that vase meant losing the joy associated with it. Her friend wanted to Julie and Frank something from her heart. Julie searched for hours motivated by joy attached to the vase.
Music: “Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us” “Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling” “God is So Good” “Marching to Zion”
Opening Prayer: Oh God, we gather to remind ourselves that you know us; you notice. All week the world ignored us, stepped around us, only needed an account number from us. We often feel lost, swallowed by anonymity. We’ve come to lay our lives before you open and transparent. Tell us again that we have been found by the One who created us. Remind us of the joy of our salvation. Amen.
Confession: God, too often we act like lost people: without direction, without hope, without purpose. Forgive us for forgetting to walk in the light of our salvation. Forgive us for failing to help others discover the joy of walking with the Lord. Show us how to be the light in someone’s darkness.
Assurance of Pardon: “If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9