Lost and Found

Our grandson Charlie is really enjoying his kindergarten year. He didn't attend any preschool for his first five years and was so ready for school to begin when he reached eligibility! As a result, he is like a sponge soaking up every experience! He comes to our house each day bounding off the bus with a new story to tell of something he has discovered in class that day. He is working on his word sounds this first month and wears a special hat band home with the latest letter and shows off his newly acquired skill of sounding them out by rehearsing each letter with  Mimi pronouncing and puffing out the exact sound... buh, cuh. duh, juh, kah, and puh as he progresses throughout the entire alphabet! It is so precious to watch his ambition and dedication to this evolving educational process!
SES Lost and Found

One recent day after school, Charlie came in wild-eyed with exploratory optimism. He couldn't wait to relate the account of how one of his classmates had misplaced his lunch kit during the day. Both he and his friend were equally distressed by this misfortune. Then, Charles looked at me with an incredulous grin and exclaimed, "Poppi, did you know that we have a 'lost and found' at school? And... they found it there!"

I tried to explain how most public buildings provide this obligatory service because folks regularly "lose" their hats, umbrellas, glasses, thermos mugs and the like. But, Charlie only wanted to share his new discovery and how this service helped his friend to retrieve his lunch box. It's amazing how short the attention span of family and friends is when I speak these days!

Admittedly, both Monique and I expected this elementary school "lost and found" to be a little more sophisticated. But after she located it near the office area, she discovered it to be a simple coat rack on wheels that had a laundry basket cradled at its base. Nevertheless, it was adequately serving the purpose of a bona fide  "lost and found!" As you see by the picture and could have imagined anyway from your school days' memory, this coat rack was first and foremost a repository for neglected jackets and sweatshirt coverings! Oh, how do kids leave these behind more than any other items?! You can hear a parent remarking, "Junior or Missy, if you leave another jacket at the school, you will simply be going tomorrow in your shirt sleeves. And do you know how cold it is going to be tomorrow?" Somehow, I don't think you can be effective with today's students using such contrived scare tactics.

I don't think Jesus was trying to scare anyone by telling three stories in Luke 15 about losing things, but he was trying to show how much joy there is in the heavenly counsels when something, rather someone is found who has strayed from the purposes and plans of God. These stories were about the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost, prodigal son. Many Bible students have deduced that the third story is also about the tragic jealousy of the lost, elder brother as well. In either case, regarding that third story and certainly, in all three stories of this fifteenth chapter of the gospel, God is the hero who is the loving Father.

Every time I read the Luke 15 "lost stories," I am captured with the action and emotion shown by the father who "that while he (the prodigal) was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him." This loving father would later explain his actions and feelings to the lost, elder brother who sulked and refused to understand this radical willingness to forgive and forget the prodigals' rebellion and sin, "This my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found" (Luke 15:20, 24).  Within the witness of heaven's angels, the loving heavenly Father declares, "Let the celebration begin!"

And so it happens again and again as God's grace washes over each of us at salvation, and after personal failure. He is still the loving Father who seeks us out and finds us to forgive all our sins. Who do you know that is lost and needs to be found today?

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,
active churchman and
doting grandparent.
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com

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