May25ThuA glimpse of the Trinity. A glimpse of love May 25, 2023
Luke 15. A chapter on lost things. I discovered something recently that maybe you all know, but it's new to me so I'll share it anyway🙂
I guess I could say I knew that there were two other parables in the chapter of the prodigal son, but even if I did, it sure didn't click or resonate with me. Jesus shares these three parables, one after the other, and in each one, something is lost. A coin, a sheep, a son. It wasn't the lost things that caught my eye though, instead it was the main characters in each. A woman searches for the lost coin, the shepherd goes after the lost sheep, and the father welcomes home the lost son. Here is what clicked for me: the chapter is an image of the Trinity! The Shepherd is a reflection of the Son, Jesus, who seeks and saves us, his sheep. The woman swept the entire house searching everywhere till she found the valuable coin, a picture of how the Holy Spirit also seeks the lost sinner and illuminates the darkness with the light of Christ. The Father is God, welcoming, celebrating, and putting a ring and robe on every son who comes back home. The Trinity! The Trinity is at work, bringing us back to God.
In my heart this is what it looks like: One day there's a knock on your door, and you open it to find there's a kind-looking stranger who seems oddly familiar. You are intrigued and so invite this stranger in for coffee. As you converse, your heart begins to ignite with longing and desire for something more. Even when you are being called out, it's done with such compassionate hope that it convicts you. You can feel yourself being wooed and called higher and when Holy Spirit (who by now has become a friend) says, "I'd like to introduce you to One who can be of great help to you," you get excited. Of course! Bring him! And so you get introduced to Jesus because this is what Holy Spirit loves the most, to reveal Jesus to people.
Jesus immediately says " I'm here. I came to save you. I'll be your big brother and come alongside you to help you out of this mess you are in. I’ll be you Savior and Redeemer. I came to save you from the enemy that is trying to destroy you. I'll heal your brokenness. I'll restore your soul, lead you to provision, comfort and protect you, but most of all I desire for you to meet my Abba Father."
When Jesus introduces you to Abba, you meet love face to face. He hugs you close and keeps you in His embrace until tears stream from your eyes because the love cascading into your heart can not be contained. You encounter the overwhelming joy He has for you and how valuable you are to Him. You experience as the depth and magnitude of His love floods your being and with it comes revelation. You quickly realize that love for you poured out wrath on the enemy and destroyed all power it had over you. It makes you vibrate. It sends you soaring. When the truth of the Trinity hits you, nothing is impossible anymore for the union is too tightly woven, stronger than any force.
You know, in each parable, there is this joyous celebration by the Father, by the Son, and by the Holy Spirit, at the return of the lost. The rejoicing Shepherd calls his friends and neighbors and says, Come celebrate with me for I have found my sheep! The woman does the same, gathering all her friends and family for a celebration and likewise, the Father doesn't hesitate when he sees his son returning but runs out to meet him, hugs and kisses him, and commands for a feast to be prepared.
The love in these parables is overwhelming. What causes the woman to search the whole house for the coin? It was valuable to her. Likewise, you and I are valuable to God. We are of great worth to Him. What made the shepherd leave the 99 and go after the one sheep that was lost? Love. He cares for every single one of his sheep, each life is precious and worth going after and saving. What about the excited Father, running out to meet a wayward son? If that isn't love, what is?
The word lost is often misunderstood. Let's think about it for a minute, when we say that person is lost, what are we implying? That they are confused? Beyond reach or influence? Sometimes we think that if a person is lost, he\she doesn't belong. According to these parables, this isn't true at all. Lost has more to do with being in the wrong place. The coin wasn't where it belonged, neither was the lost sheep. The son wasn't where he belonged and once he realized this and came home with the idea he'll be a servant and earn his father's love, he quickly found out otherwise. Once he was back home, he was welcomed as a son. Not a servant! He didn't have to earn his way back into good grace. He was a son, freely and greatly loved by his Father.
Lost is where I have found myself on occasion. Out of place, not in alignment, running from an assignment. And in those moments? I'm glad that I was pursued by the Son and corrected by the Spirit and loved by the Father. Otherwise, I don't believe I'd be here writing His love on paper. I'm glad He did not deem me out of reach at my worst. I am thankful He didn't say, "I have no hope for her", but chose instead to pour out hope on me. I'm sure glad that He plucked me out from the miry muck I was in and planted my feet on a firm foundation. Above all, I have a grateful heart that sings He is worthy, He is worthy, because not once did He identify me as lost. He calls me His. He calls me beloved.
Next time you meet a person who you'd call lost, I pray that the overwhelming love of Abba will flood your heart and make you reach out in compassion. I pray that not one person you come across will ever feel shame or condemnation from you. May they walk away from you feeling loved and hopeful. Let the same love that redeemed you flow out from you unto people. You were once darkness but now you are light in the Lord, therefore let His light pierce the surrounding darkness. Every lost and homeless person you meet is a beloved son or daughter, who is just out of their proper place. Bring them home to the Father. He is a safe place. He is a good place!