Where is that darn passport?! Bags were packed, the family was assembled, the taxi was waiting but no passport! I tore around the house in a mad search of that elusive blue book. Of course it was finally discovered nestled safely between the pages of a novel I hoped to read. My heart picks up a beat just thinking about it!
Beginning of the meeting
Invite the community to gather. Share the story above, or your own story about a time you lost something.
Can you recall a time when you lost something really important, the panic you felt at having lost it and the effort you went through to find it? Tell your “losing something” story. (Turn to the person next to you or in the large group share your story.)
Listen carefully to the story and sense the emotions of the shepherd and the woman.
Luke 15:1-10 Now all the tax-collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. 2 And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, ‘This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.’ 3 So he told them this parable: 4 ‘Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? 5 When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbours, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.” 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance. 8 ‘Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? 9 When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbours, saying, “Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.” 10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.’
This scripture passage includes two parables about losing things (actually three if you include the prodigal son parable that follows). These parables are Jesus’ way of helping us better understand God’s love.
If God is the shepherd or the woman, who are the lost? Are we the lost?
What is God’s reaction to the lost? Does God scold or passively wait for their/our return?
How as a church community do we stray or get lost? (Take a few minutes of quiet to ponder this question, write down your reflections and then share in the small and/or large group.)
What have we learned about ourselves and God’s love that we need to acknowledge as a church and share as a people?
End of the meeting
Read the passage once again and ask how God’s Word has been known in your time together.
“I once was lost but now am found.”