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Have you ever felt lost in your relationship with God?
Devotion: Feeling the Joy of God's Presence
Where do you find joy in your relationship with God? Is it listening to special music at worship? Is it sharing in communion? Is it at the birth of child? Is it in finding something you have lost for a long time?
The two parables in these verses are about finding something that is lost. At the time of Jesus, a hundred sheep were a sign of prosperity. These sheep were often kept for eight to nine years for their wool. The shepherd would always walk ahead of the sheep to scout out danger. The shepherd cared about all the sheep. If one were lost, it was important to find it.
We have all probably had valuable coins. When I was a boy, I remember my uncle gave me an 1887 silver dollar. In the years that followed, he gave me newer silver dollars. My collection grew to more than a dozen coins. I used to look at these coins and wonder how many places they had been. Who had touched them? One day I noticed a coin was missing. I searched until I found it. I experienced the joy of finding that which was lost.
A key word in each of the stories is "lost". Have you ever felt lost in your relationship with God? I remember traveling alone in Europe while in college. There were many new faces and places, but none of these did I associate with the God I grew up with. I felt lost. It was comforting to find those places where I could connect with God -- a friend here, a church there. It was because I was lost that I appreciated the love and security of God all the more. So too God feels this joy when we are found again.
Let us pray: Gracious Lord, there are times when each of us feels lost -- living in a dark place, separated from your Word and loving care. We ask you to keep searching for us. Do not lose patience. We ask that your voice speak louder than the sounds of distraction around us. Do not lose perseverance. We ask that your Spirit touch our heart and mind. Remind us that you are our God and we are your people. May we share in your joy when we are found, and may we share the joy of your presence with others as a witness to you, our Lord. Amen.
Stewardship Resources Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Any part of Salt Seasonings can be reproduced with attribution. All Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible (NRSV).
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