Lost and Found

Date: 21 Aug 2022

Sermon Text: Luke 15:1-32 Speaker: Ps Luwin Wong

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Transcript I was at Vivo City last weekend when over the PA system, I heard this message:

“Attention all shoppers, a 5 year old girl by the name of Anna is missing. She is wearing a blue dress. If found, please return her to the customer service centre at located at lvl 1. Thank you.”

Imagine being Anna’s parents. The expectation of a pleasant family day out in a mall turns into anxiety because you discover that your little daughter is nowhere to be found. You back track to the places you have been, each step quicker than the next. Calling out her name every once in a while, straining your ears to hear her respond. After a while, you finally give in to the realisation that she’s lost. And you hurry to the customer service centre, you apologise to those in the queue and say, “sorry, its an emergency”, and you ask them to make a missing child announcement over the public address system. Every second you wait at the counter feels like an eternity. Your applewatch alerts you that you heartrate has exceeded the normal range, but you have been standing still.

Okay, maybe this isn’t anxiety inducing enough. After all, it happened in Vivocity. It’s a mall in Singapore. Your child is going to show up. It’s just a matter of time. I mean, it’s Singapore.

Imagine the same scenario, but this time it’s a mall in Bangkok. The same scenario, but you’re in a mall in Phnom Penh. As a parent to a missing child, how would you feel then?

And how would you feel, when, just at the moment when you feel like your heart couldn’t take the stress anymore, you child you spot your child in the distance, you run to towards her, you have her in your arms, you find your child again. How would you feel?

Would your heart not leap for joy? Would not anxiety be washed away by a wave of relief which in turns gives way to rejoicing? And if the next activity on the agenda that day was lunch, I am sure, regardless of what is placed on the table, it would be the best family meal you would have had in long time. Because your child was lost, and now is found. Whatever comes next would no doubt feel like a celebration.

This my friends, is what our text today is about.

In this chapter, Jesus tells a series of three parables, and each begins with an individual losing something.

The first opens with a man losing a sheep.

The second, with a woman losing a coin.

The third, a father losing a son.

There are three things I want us to note about this trilogy of lost-and-found parables.

First, the three-strand thread that runs across the three parables is that of “lost-found-celebration.”