Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Parable of the Lost Games

My friend's nine-year old grandson got a hand-held gaming device for Christmas, along with some games. On a trip to visit other relatives over the holidays, he lost track of three of the games and realized they were missing when he got home. Being an exceptionally sweet and sensitive boy, he was completely distraught and heartbroken, not just because he didn't have the games, but because he felt responsible for them. My friend told me he was so upset that he wept and wept in the arms of his mother till he fell asleep, only to wake up distraught again.

I'm reminded of a parable Jesus told when the Pharisees were passing judgment on Him for attracting sinners. The parable was about a woman who lost something valuable and was so distraught over it that she turned her house upside down and wouldn't rest until she found it. When she finally did find it, she was so elated that she invited people over and threw a party to celebrate.

What was Jesus' point? (He always has a point.) The reason he associated with sinners was because they're lost! And that bothered Him. So much so that He was always looking for an opportunity to turn men toward the Father. Their lost state was distressing to Him. And when one turned to God, there was nothing more satisfying to Him.

Another thing Jesus taught repeatedly was how we are to be like children in our innocence and faith. My friend's grandson could think of nothing else but finding his lost games. It weighed heavily on his tender heart. As he gets older he's going to grow and mature and realize that people are the most important things. And that was Jesus' point. People all around us are lost without Him; some are our family and friends. As adults striving to have childlike faith, how distraught are we over the lost? Do we weep? How important is it to us that they be "found"? Jesus' parable made it clear that nothing on this earth should be more important.

Today the lost games were found in a relative's home. I don't know if the little boy has received this happy news. I suppose he'll find out when he gets home from school. And I bet he's going to want to celebrate.
That's what happens when what's lost has been found.

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