"For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost." Luke 19:10 (NIV)
Read that verse again. That's Christmas...after the "Christmas story". That's why He came.
It reminds me of the line in Amazing Grace that says, "I once was lost, but now am found." Yes, that grace is amazing. For that grace I am so thankful...for myself...and for others...those who've experienced that grace...and those that have yet to. We must keep praying...and remember that HE is still seeking.
It was Christmas Eve. The children...and the grownups..."were nestled all snug in our beds" when I was awakened to the sounds of whispering. It was my niece. I thought she was talking in her sleep. The last thing I heard her mumble was "Whatever." I think I chuckled at that beautiful teenager before dozing back off. I re-entered wakefulness and decided to just check on the girls (my niece and daughter) sleeping at the foot of our bed to be sure they were covered up. My niece wasn't there. I checked the bathroom. I walked downstairs...oh so quietly to avoid waking anyone else...or cause undue concern. I tiptoed back up...looked more carefully at the air mattress. Not there. Back downstairs to the sofa where her brother was sleeping...knowing she wouldn't fit there, but checked anyway. Nope. I went and listened at the door where her other brother was sleeping. Couldn't hear anything. I woke up my husband. He just turned over. I thought, "Hmmm...maybe she went to her Dad's room." So I looked...not only disrupting his sleep, but his little doggy's too. Not there. I told him that I'd try the brother's room again. Ah, whew! There she was...wrapped in a blanket on the floor. She looked up at me and said, "I couldn't sleep because of Uncle John's snoring."
I headed back to bed...rejoicing...silently. I shared the good news with her Dad...and John...who smiled and turned over again. I could return to sleeping in heavenly peace.
Have you experienced that feeling...of someone being lost? Maybe at the mall...or the grocery store...or in your neighborhood? It's a scary feeling that can fill you with panic.
As I thought back over the scenario, my mind went to the parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin...both found...and rejoiced over. Just past that passage in Luke 15 is the parable of the lost son...the prodigal. Along with the sheep and coin, he was found. And there was great rejoicing and celebration. Jesus said, "In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of angels of God over one sinner who repents."
Do you know of someone who is lost...not just temporarily, but eternally? A friend? A family member? A spouse? Don't give up. Keep praying. Jesus is searching. He longs to find them. That's what He came for...to seek and save the lost.
Lord Jesus, thank You for coming as a babe in a lowly manger, walking through life sinless, and yielding Your life as atonement for our sins. Thank You for all You endured for us. Lord, please draw those to Yourself who are lost...like sheep without a shepherd. We long to rejoice with You and with the angels!