(The prodigal son, Luke 15)
Props: Lost poster anf folder of feathers, selection of ‘Lost’ posters from internet.
Hello boys and girls! We are going to talk about things getting lost today. Some people lose their memories, some people lose their hair, but a bad thing to lose is your glasses: you can‘t see what you are looking for!
I wonder if any of you have ever lost anything? [You will probably get some answers.]
The other week, a whole lot of notices appeared in our district, attached to lamp posts and tree trunks. I rescued one. Look, it says:
Nice brown feathers with white on bottom, size of a footy. If found dead or alive, please come to ...
Now, I don’t think this story had a happy ending. One day Mrs S. was walking around the block, when she came across a small pile of feathers. I collected some. [Hold up plastic folder with brown and white feathers.] Now I don’t know about you, but to me this looks like some brown and white feathers off a chicken about the size of a footy!
I found some other notices on the internet:
I hope this little lost dog got found! And what about this one? This looks more cheery: [Read:] ‘Male beagle found – gives the time and place – Approximately six months of age. Mostly brown with patches of white, and black spots, slightly crooked tail. Blue collar but no tags. Very friendly.’ ... Oh NO!! Do you know what it says next? ‘Tasted like chicken’! That’s terrible!
You know, people get lost sometimes too. Some years ago, Mrs S and I were exploring the upper Swan River out of Perth. You park the car and walk across a bridge where the river splashes down over some rocks, and then there is a bush trail alongside the river which we decided to follow. After a bit, I went off the trail and behind a bush (we won’t discuss the reasons for that!), and when I got back on the trail, Mrs S had disappeared! She was just nowhere to be seen. I was so worried. Perhaps she had fallen in the river and been swept away? Or fallen in a hole and was lying unconscious? Or been stolen by someone – kidnapped? After a while she turned up: she had walked to the end of the trail looking for me. She thought I was lost, which was a bit silly: I knew exactly where I had been! But it was good to be back together again.
Today we are going to hear about the prodigal son. You remember this story Jesus told about the boy who left his home and loving father to go to a distant town to have fun. Well, it didn’t turn out to be so much fun. He was a lost boy.
As I thought about all these lost things and pets and people, it seemed to me that when a thing is lost, it is out of place – it is not where it should be. And when Jesus told this story he was talking about each of us children: God made us to be with him, and when we wander away from him, we are out of place, lost. It is my prayer that each of us children, and us grown-ups too, will stay close by our Heavenly Father who loves us so much, and not be lost.