Sunday, September 12, 2010

Lost? Who, Me?

Have any of you ever been completely, totally lost? Have you ever been so turned around that you had no idea how to get to where you needed to be? Have you ever lost all sense of direction and couldn’t be certain where north, south, east or west were?

I’ll bet that everyone here is remembering a time when you were traveling somewhere and became turned around. You’re remembering sometime when you were so lost you couldn’t even find anyone who could tell you where to go.

I think we’ve all been there at one time or another. I have and it’s sure not any fun, especially if you’re all alone and no one speaks you’re language.

Every time it’s happened to me I feel so stupid. How could I not know where I was going? How come I can’t tell north from east? How come no one understands what I’m saying?

Are you lost today? Did you find your way here today hoping to get some directions that would get you home? Have you lost your point of reference?

I wonder if there’s anyone here who can help those of us who are lost. I wonder if there’s anyone here this morning that’s been in our predicament.

By now you’ve probably figured out that I’m not talking about being physically lost, though that can still happen to some of us. I’ve been told that Daniel Boone said that he’d never been lost but he’d wandered around for a few days before he came home.

Friends, I’ve been lost. I’ve been so lost that I thought I’d never find my way back. There have been times that I didn’t think God would ever find me. And still today, I get off the path. If it weren’t for God and his grace I’d probably not be here today.

I could very easily be one of those sinners that Jesus ate with. I could have been one of those the Pharisees were grumbling about.

You see I’ve not always followed Jesus’ footsteps like I should have. In fact I strayed a long way off the path a few times. If it wasn’t for God calling me home I wouldn’t be here today. I know there was nothing I did that helped me find my way back.

I’m not sure I could use Paul’s excuse that I didn’t know better. I knew better. Just like the Israelites I got stupid and went and did my own thing. I got lost.

So, are any of you lost today? Have you wandered off the path and don’t know where to go to get back on?

I believe that if you’re here today it’s because the One who created you, the One who loves you has been searching for you and in his own way has brought you to this sanctuary. Friend, God has found you and brought you here so he can help you get your bearings.

None of us have all the answers but together, like a family, we can help each other when we wander off the path. And we will stray. We’re not so much different than the sheep Jesus referred to in his parable. We put our heads down and go our way never looking up. And when we do we find we don’t know where we are or how we got here. Pretty much like sheep.

Friends, I don’t think we’re stupid but I do believe we can be pretty hard headed or hard hearted and that’s why we get lost so often.

I don’t get so scared anymore when I get lost because I have hope that the One who loves me will find me and bring me home. My trust is in the One who died to save me, the One who defeated death so I no longer have to fear it. I always hope that this is the last time but it isn’t.

Now there may be some here who have never been lost. And for you I’m eternally grateful because you are the ones God sends to help us who get lost all the time. I thank God for you.

Friends, if you never have been lost. If you’ve always known your directions, then I believe God has given you a great gift. You are the ones he uses to find the lost. You’re probably the ones who find us sinners and eat with us and love us unconditionally. Thank God he’s put you here. Or maybe it works this way, you know where you’re at when we’re lost and then when you’re lost we know where we’re at and therefore we help each other.

I don’t really know. I just trust in God’s grace to find me, and you, when I’m lost. And however that’s accomplished I’m grateful to the One who keeps me in the shadow of his wings.

Thanks be to God for his gracious love that finds us when we’re lost. Amen.

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