For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost. (Luke 19:10)
Relate: This mall in the picture above it on the path I walk to and from work every day. Usually on Fridays I will head up to the food court (where that top escalator ends) and grab myself a meal from Popeye’s or somewhere else. Right now they have a sandwich, xl drink, and xl fries for 9tl (less than $3) so who can argue with that? Very often as I sit and unwind eating and reading, there will be young kids running past just fooling around as there parents eat. How long do you think it would take their parents to be distracted before one of them runs just a bit too far and out of sight? I have seen that happen as a briefly panicked mother starts calling out “Efe!” or “Zeynep!” until they reappear.
It reminds me of a time back in the states when I was at another mall. A mom sat two of her kids down on the bench with a stern lecture to stay put. I’m not sure which one spoke or what exactly they said, but the mom’s finger came out and she wielded it in their direction with force as she said, “I don’t care what you want. You sit there and don’t move until I find your brother.” The two kids who were sitting sullenly on that bench were preteen or early teens and my guess was that their brother was the oldest in the family.
What if he wasn’t? What if their brother wandering around the mall was only five or younger like those kids who constantly run past in the food court? What if he didn’t get caught up playing the PS4 sample in Game Stop but rather had been marked out and picked up by some twisted predator? Imagine that mother’s stern lecture gradually giving way to nervous calling and then frantic hunting. I’ve heard my share of Code Adam’s and Amber Alerts. Behind each one is a frantic parent desperate to find their child and worried sick that something dreadful might have happened. Until that child is found they are under an obsession and nothing will deter them from their task.
React: If we, who are sinners would act this way toward our children, how much more so God? He knows that obsession. God shares it. The “religious” people of his time asked, “Why would you hang out with that crooked IRS agent? Shouldn’t you be avoiding that kind of evil?” I can hear Jesus response, “Do you see Zacchaeus? He is why I have come. He is my obsession. To seek and save the lost I will do anything to the grave and beyond.” God is obsessed about the lost while we Christians all too often sit on the bench like petulant teens whining about those petty things we want. Will we help in the search or are we going to be a distraction He needs to sideline?
Help me to get in the search. You are obsessed with seeking and saving the lost, but I am so easily distracted by all that glitters. Let me be consumed with that which consumes You. Let me live for a cause that You were willing to die for. Don’t let me be content, don’t let me be complacent until all know. Let Your passion for the lost burn like a fire in me.