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To seek the lost

Luke 15:1-32

Pastor David Ernst

Third Sunday after Trinity
Epiphany Lutheran Mission of La Caramuca  
Barinas, Venezuela

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Sun, Jun 17, 2018 

Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

In our text for today there are three parables with the same theme: God desires the salvation of the lost. Our Lord used stories from everyday life to illustrate his points. Here are three to emphasize the importance of this point.

First, we have the parable of the lost sheep. At that time, most shephers had 15 to 20 sheep. Forty was a great flock. Imagine 100 sheep! However, this shepherd did not think that he had enough sheep, so to lose one did not matter. He left the ninety-nine, and wnet after the one that was lost, until he found it. And when he found it, he put it on his shoulders and returned home to rejoice with his friends.

So also with the woman with the coin. "Or what woman who has ten drachmas, if she loses a drachma, does not light the lamp, and sweep the house, and searches diligently until she finds it? And when she finds it, she gathers her friends and her neighbors, saying, Rejoice with me, for I have found the drachma that I had lost, so I tell you that there is joy before the angels of God for a sinner who repents. "

Look: The salvation of the lost not only please God, also the angels and all the company of heaven.

Well, the third parable is the most appropriate for this Father’s Day.

"A man had two children; and the youngest of them said to his father: Father, give me the part of the property that belongs to me. And he gave them his goods. And not many days later, when the younger son gathered all together, he set off to a secluded province; and there he squandered his property by living with abandon. "

 The father in this parable symbolizes our heavenly Father. Many times the relationship between earthly parents and their children is not the best. Sometimes it's the father's fault, because our parents in this world are not perfect. But maybe the son is not a grateful son, but a rebel. This is the case with each one of us and God the Father Almighty.

"And when he had wasted everything, there came a great famine in that province, and he began to be lacking, and he went and joined one of the citizens of that land, who sent him to his farm to feed pigs. And he would have filled his belly of the husks that the pigs ate, but no one gave him. And coming to himself, he said, How many hired men in my father's house have an abundance of bread, and I here perish with hunger! I will rise and go to my father, and I will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you, I am no longer worthy to be called your son, make me as one of your hired servants. "

This is the portrait of the repentant sinner. He recognized his state of humiliation, living among pigs and the pigs were happier than him. He recognized that he deserves nothing from his father, but seeks his mercy for something.

"And rising up, he came to his father, and when he was still far away, his father saw him, and was moved with mercy, and he ran and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said to him, Father, I have sinned. against heaven, and against you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. But the father said to his servants,Bring the best garment, and clothe him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; Bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate, for this my dead son was, and has been revived, lost, and found. And they began to rejoice.”

Look at the father's reaction when the prodigal son returned home. He did not condemn him, but rejoiced over the repentance and restoration of his son. The heavenly Father sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, into this world to achieve reconciliation between us and Him. The Son of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity, left His Father in heaven, not out of rebellion, but to find the lost children. By the blood of Christ, we have the promise of forgiveness, because the Father does not want our damnation.

The father is the figure of God and the prodigal son the image of each one of us. We must acknowledge our rebellion and repent of our sins to return to the heavenly Father. In addition, we should thank God for our earthly fathers, who care for us and protect us when we can not do this for ourselves. To be a father is a great honor and, in truth, a man is not completely a man until his patience has been tested by his children.

We are also often the oldest son. "And his eldest son was in the field, and when he came and came near the house, he heard the music and the dances, and calling one of the servants, he asked him what it was, and he said to him: Your brother he has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, for having received him safe and sound.  So he was angry, and would not go in. So his father went out, and begged him to come in. But he, answering, said to his father : Behold, I have served you so many years, never having disobeyed your commandment, and you have never given me a goat to enjoy with my friends. But this one, your son, who has consumed your goods with harlots, you have killed for him the thick calf. He then said to him: Son, you are always with me, and all I have is yours. But it was necessary to celebrate and rejoice, because this one, your brother, was dead, and has been revived; it had been lost, and it is found. "

If we have grown up in a Christian family, with the gospel of Jesus Christ since childhood, we should not yet think that we have the promise of eternal life by our merits.The purpose of the church is to seek to the lost sheep and when one is found, to rejoice with God and the whole community of faith for the blessing. In this is our joy, hope and peace that surpasses all understanding, Amen.

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