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Lost Sheep, Coins, and Sermon Points

Last Sunday, I left out a point in my sermon on the Parables of the Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin. It was for the best. A shorter sermon helped families get their moms to lunch a little early. At any rate, here it the missing point:

A lost sheep may wander back to the herd by sheer dumb luck, but it’s far more likely that the lost sheep gets eaten. A lost coin certainly can’t wriggle its way out from under the sofa and jump into its mistress’ pocket. If we are sinners and sinners are like lost sheep and lost coins, then we can’t save themselves, and salvation is not a self-help project. To be saved is to be found and rescued from dangers we are powerless to overcome. The one who saves you is Jesus. His friendship with you is what saves you. Not your good behavior.

Our friendship with Jesus is renewed whenever we eat and drink with him at the communion table. It’s renewed whenever we feed and clothe him when he comes to us disguised as a person in need. It’s renewed when we pray in his name and listen for his voice in scripture. Only, understand this: these aren’t means to get into God’s good graces. These are places where our friend has promised to meet us, shield us, and invest us for his purposes of justice, peace, and love.

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