Monday, September 7, 2009

September 7, 2009

"Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." Luke 15:8-10
I have been talking about the four different levels of lostness that Jesus is talking about in these parables. The first was the lostness within faith and the religious leaders who weren't reaching the lost because they were lost in their self-righteousness. Then I shared about the lostness from the flock and how this lost sheep nibbled his way into lostness through self-indulgence.
Today I want to talk about the third type of lostness. This lostness is a loss of focus due to self-satisfaction.
So, what is the point here in this particular parable?
The lost coin was likely a part of the woman's dowry or he net worth that she brought into the marriage contract. Her husband had to pay a price to the bride's family for the right to marry her and the bride had to bring a dowry to secure her future should something happen to the husband. This coin was one of ten that was crafted together to make necklace and this necklace served as the equivalent of a wedding ring.
Obviously, this coin had some real value, some sentimental value, and strong emotional attachment. Losing this coin was a big deal.
How would you feel if you lost your wedding ring? How would your spouse feel? How would you explain that?
One of the interesting things about engagement/wedding rings is that they are usually one of the first big financial investments made by a young man at a time when he can least afford it. He goes into debt through his extravagant effort to show how much he loves and values his bride-to-be. Of course, he expects her to receive his gift of love and to cherish it.
I am sure you can identify with that scenario so you can understand the significance of what Jesus is talking about here.
We are not told exactly how she lost this coin, how it became dettached from the necklace. We are not told how long it took her to discover that it was lost after it became lost. It seems like there was some time lapse between the coin being lost and the discovery of that lostness. Otherwise it would fallen and hit the ground or hit a piece of furniture and she would have heard it and found it and picked it up. So, that would indicate a loss of some focus and attention to the valuables.
Could it be that Jesus is pointing to how easily we lose our focus over what is truly valuable in our lives? People and relationships with those people are the most valuable things in our lives, but we lose that focus. We get self-absorbed. We get distracted. We get comfortable and self-satisfied. It happens and when it does we become dettached from our passion and purpose for living.
Thank God, something happened to jolt her out of her self-satisfaction and caused her to once again focus on what really mattered in her life. Once she discovered that one of her coins was missing, her passion returned and her purpose became clear - she had to find that lost coin. Immediately there was a sense of urgency. She had to find that coin! Her reputation was at stake. Her relationship was at stake. Her financial security was at risk.
So, the antimated search began. She got the flashlight. She got her broom. She searched and swept and swept and searched and did not rest until she finally found the coin. And when she found it she was so relieved! When she found it she rejoiced! When she found it she vowed that she would never be so careless as to lost it again!
It is so hard to stay focused on the things that matter most. It is so easy to settle into a zone of comfort and become self-satisfied. Is it possible to maintain a consistent sense of urgency for our purpose?
Yes, it is hard. Yes, it is easy. But, yes, it is possible.
By remembering what happens when we lose our focus or become self-satisfied - valuable things get lost.
By daily calling on God to give us His heart for the lost and daily focusing on His Word and daily allowing His Spirit to work His will in us.
If you are dettached from God, reattach! Otherwise something value will end up lost - it may be you!