What is Jesus talking about here. These parables he's giving the Pharisees and scribes in answer to their complaining about his hanging out with sinners and tax collectors are not about things that can reason. The sheep doesn't know it is lost, the coin cannot call out and say I am here. Neither can they repent about having strayed. Isn't that the point though. How does someone know they are lost. By and large they are treated as if they are not lost, but they know exactly what they are doing. Isn't it our responsibility to open the door and show their value?
This week there have been articles on and video stories about 9/11. Everyone has talked about feeling lost or being lost at some point in the story. One was about a man who kept going back into the building to lead out the next set of people who were lost until his own life was lost. The thing about this is on that day no one had time to say, are you a Jew, a Muslim, black, white, sinner, or anything else. Things happened and people just helped one another. They were there finding others who felt lost too.
Another series of stories related about St. Paul's chapel and what it did during the days and weeks following. How no one imagined this it just happened. If you were hungry there was food, if you needed rest there was a pee to lie in, if you were in need of care there were chiropractors or massage therapists or round the clock chaplains, if you needed comfort music was provided. The church became what the church should be. A center for all the lost during those rough days that followed.
Isn't that Jesus' invitation to is today. How many of us go out intentionally looking for those who are lost without requiring repentance. Without requiring some first steps be made. It gives us a whole new way to look at being finders and rejoicing when someone is found. When someone who is lost makes triumphs or changes. It may be because we were the first to have faith in them. Sometimes it only takes being present for someone to feel found.
The group the Black-Eyed Peas have rereleased their song "Where is the Love" which was written after 9/11. It's lyrics keep giving examples of times when we fail to find the lost and keep asking where is the love with a big question mark. The new remake is not as hip hop as much as it is song and a blend of all kinds of voices and artists. They show images of recent events, images of people we know. Ferguson, Michael Brown's mom, the Dallas police chief, Syria, hateful words and the chorus comes to say "People killin', people dyin'
Children hurt can you hear them cryin'? Can you practice what you preach?
And would you turn the other cheek? Father, Father, Father help us
Send us some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love? (Love)"
Isn't this Jesus' point over the last few weeks? The Pharisees and scribes are so entangled with living the words of the law they forget the love of God. A love that goes searching out for the lost. To be present. No conditions, no rules just to be. Can we have the kind of faith that wants to find the lost? Will we go out searching for them or will we just sit and wait? Where is God's love?