“… imagine a woman who has ten coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and scour the house, looking in every nook and cranny until she finds it? And when she finds it you can be sure she’ll call her friends and neighbors: ‘Celebrate with me! I found my lost coin!’ ”
Luke 15:8-9 (MSG)
I confess that there have been occasions when I have put my mobile phone down somewhere and I don’t know where it is. It’s easy if it’s in the house – just ring it from the land line and it will reveal where it’s lurking. But with anything else it may not be quite so simple to find lost items. It clearly wasn’t easy for the woman in Jesus’ parable. She had to get a good light and do a thorough hunt for her valuable lost coin.
Jesus sandwiched this parable between the parables of the Lost Sheep and the Prodigal Son. The lost sheep probably is aware it is lost; it is alone and neither shepherd nor flock are in sight. The prodigal son deliberately gets himself lost. The coin, being an inanimate object, has no idea that it is lost.
I would hazard a guess that a great many people fit into the category of the coin and they don’t know they are lost. As the woman lit her candle to bring light to all the corners of her house, so the light of Christ penetrates our world and finds us, wherever we are. It shows the heart and the love and concern that God has for us: as the woman scoured her house, so God will search us out and find us.
One side of any coin usually bears the image of the monarch in whose name the coin is issued. And we are all coins that have been issued by the realm of the kingdom of God. Jesus, the King, is the image on his coins and we belong to him.
Jesus ended by telling the crowd of the joy in heaven when just one person turns to God. As the coin was precious to the woman, so all of us are precious to God, and he celebrates our return to him. As the Message Bible puts verse 10: “Count on it—that’s the kind of party God’s angels throw every time one lost soul turns to God.”
We praise you, our Father, that you seek us out, that you do not allow us to be lost, and that in your love for us you celebrate when we leave our ways and turn to you, Amen.
Study by Hilary Buck
About the writer:
Hilary Buck is a Minister and pastors the Lewes congregation of Grace Communion International.
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