Lost and Found
“Jesus said, ‘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?”’
This past weekend in worship, we concluded a three-week series on the spiritual lessons we can learn from our dogs by thinking about rescue dogs. In the 15th chapter of the Gospel of Luke, Jesus teaches about who God is by sharing parables about a lost sheep, a lost coin and a son who loses his way. The parables are purposefully exaggerated and extreme in an effort to teach about the expansive love of God.
There is no giving up on God’s part in these parables and the joy comes in the finding. In the parable of the lost sheep, 99 percent is not good enough. God is like the seeking shepherd who values each sheep in the flock and won’t rest until all are back in the fold.
Author Barbara Brown Taylor says that these parables of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke are an open invitation to be good shepherds and good seekers alongside Jesus in the world. She says, “The invitation is not about being rescued by Jesus over and over again, but about joining him…in recovering God’s treasures.”
When it comes to dogs that are considered ‘rescue dogs,’ it is usually that they are being cared for or have been adopted by people who have a sense that each creature of God is ‘worth it.’ There is a Proverb that says, “The righteous know the needs of their animals” (Proverbs 12:10a).
As God’s people, we were created for a God-given purpose, which is to be bold witnesses to God’s saving love in this world. One way we live out that purpose is to be used by God so that others know God’s presence and expansive love in their lives. May that be our purpose and our witness to all God’s creatures.