Today has been a day of lost things. This morning I realized my "church keys", a separate key ring with only church keys, had gone missing. I knew I had them in the building when I began the day. Before lunch they had gone M.I.A and I was tearing up my office and pacing down the halls trying to find them. I gave up and just hoped they would turn up.
I spent the afternoon doing some reading and preparing for Sunday. At St. Paul's we are in the middle of a pre-Easter sermon series on Grace. This weeks passage is Luke 15:11-32, the famous story of the Prodigal Son. The very last verse in the passage is this;
We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”
I never saw the irony in my quest for my keys in all this. As I was getting out of my truck and heading into Starbucks I saw a metallic glint on the floorboards of the back seat. I don't know how my keys got there, but I found them.
I still didn't get it.
After an hour of studying I received a phone call from the cleaners. I had just dropped off a few suits to be cleaned. The attendant informed me she found a small yellow book in the inside pocket of one of the jackets. My eyes immediately gleamed!
You see I carry a small Field Notes notebook in my back pocket. I use it to record prayer requests and prayers. I lost a yellow notebook in December. I tore the house and closet apart trying to find it.
At that moment I got it.
I realized throughout my day of study that lostness matters. It doesn't matter because of the practical side of it. I had replacement keys and quite the stash of notebooks. But those were MY keys and MY notebook. I was attached to them. I had used them in the everyday beauty of life and I had lost them. It didn't make sense when they disappeared. I searched and searched because it drove me crazy I lost something I valued.
They both appeared in random places...within an hour of each other. In the midst of praying and preparing in a story about being lost and found. My keys and torn up notebook became a means of grace.
Friends-We matter because we belong to God. Yes, He has others, but they aren't US. You and I are uniquely important to the creator of this world. When we are reconciled back to him, through the life and work of Jesus Christ, great rejoicing happens.