Search and Rescue
God on Monday
‘Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? (…) Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it?’ (Luke 15.4,8).
After a week in the office, I love to go hiking. There are so many gorgeous hills and valleys to explore, and experts seem to agree that fresh air and exercise are good for our physical and mental health.
Whenever I encounter members of the mountain rescue service, I am struck by their courage and commitment. Regardless of the weather, and safety risks, these volunteers are dedicated to search and rescue anyone who is lost or gets into difficulty.
Tricky search missions are also a theme of the above two parables. Jesus told them when he was asked why he was welcoming sinners and eating with them. The shepherd risks his own safety to go in search of the lost sheep; the woman spends time, energy and money (oil was expensive) searching for her lost coin.
Their joy in finding the sheep and the coin symbolizes the joy of the angels in heaven when a sinner repents. God’s great search and rescue mission, God’s relentless and loving pursuit, has brought that person safely into the Kingdom of Heaven.
But these parables also tell us about the role we should play in God’s great plan. We, too, are to be searchers (Jere 29.13; Mt 7.7). We, too, need to venture out and energetically pursue God’s kingdom. When we do, we will find God in unexpected places, in unlikely people, in unpromising situations.
As you enter this new working week, are you ready to seek God in the people you meet, in the problems you encounter, and in the most unlikely of circumstances?
Thank you Father that we are part of your search and rescue plan. Thank you that each one of us is precious to you; that you seek us out, however far we have strayed, in whatever corner we have hidden. Help us to seek you and find you too, especially in places we have overlooked. And help us to see you at work in our lives today.
, solicitor and partner at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP; member of Holy Trinity Boar Lane, a church in the centre of Leeds with a ministry to city workers.
God on Monday is produced in partnership with the Church of England. The reflections are based on the scriptural readings designated for the coming Sunday in the Church's lectionary. You can sign up to Faith in Business here to receive each God on Monday instalment.
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