“It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.”
Luke 15:32 (NKJV UK)
Through my letter box came a poignant piece of paper. “Lost cat,” it was headed. Then it gave a description of this lost ginger cat, answering to ‘Gini’.White paws and a white bib. There were three not so good colour pictures, but good enough to identify the missing moggie. The note ended: “Please help us. Reward. The children are desolate and missing her very badly.” And I’m sure that was true. A selfish, self-centred cat (as they all are), but badly missed. A cat who very much tolerates the human beings around her, mainly because they feed her, provide warmth and dryness in winter, and a safe place to sleep (usually through the day). I’m a cat man myself. I get on with cats and usually they get on with me, and I can empathise with that family.
Imagine then, focusing on that note, how God must feel regarding most of humanity as he sees us today. Fortunately, of course, he has a bigger picture of where all this is leading and is content largely to leave things as they are—for the time being. But imagine his letter concerning a missing Christian. One who stops being a Christian for whatever reason, gives up on prayer, stops attending Church services—just falls out of love with God. Whatever the cause might be, he’s just gone missing. “Lost Christian” might be the heading on God’s celestial piece of paper.
How would he then describe his missing Christian? Loveable? With a wonderful nature, loves children and gets on well with babies? Answers to the name of…? What name comes first to your mind to put in there. As long as it’s not your name!
And then: Reward. And there is a reward for those who turn back the wayward (James 5:20). And would God add: “Please help us. The family is desolate and missing him/her very badly”? It’s quite a thought just how much we are loved by our Father, despite what we do and how we behave, usually selfishly and self-centred, just like a cat. But God looks beyond all of that to our potential and, remember above all that, he just loves us—literally to death!
I hope that Gini gets found and returned to her loving family. She probably would take it all with a yawn and a stretch, and not appreciate all the effort the family went to to find her and to get her back. But then we don’t fully appreciate all that God has done to rescue and retrieve us either.
Loving Father, your love for us speaks volumes down the ages. And that love can help us to focus on you and keep us from getting lost. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Study by John Stettaford
Worldwide Church of God Reading
6th Form Common Room
Honey End Lane
READING RG30 4EL
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