September 11, 2022

C42: The Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C (2022)

Debie Thomas

“‘I once was lost but now am found. Was blind but now I see.’ I can’t begin to count how many times I’ve sung these famous lines from John Newton’s “Amazing Grace.” I learned the hymn when I was a little girl, and I still find its assured language moving and beautiful. But here’s the thing: I’m not convinced anymore that I can fit my faith into its neat before-and-after story. Why? Because my lostness isn’t over. Lostness remains a central feature of my relationship with God, and if this week’s Gospel reading has anything to say about it, this is exactly as it should be,” begins Debie Thomas, Minister of Lifelong Formation at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Palo Alto, California and blogger at Journey with Jesus. In today’s passage, Luke 15:1-10, Jesus tells two parables about lost items being found. Thomas points out that the items belonged to the owners before being lost. “What does this mean?” she asks. “It means that lostness isn’t an experience exclusive to non or not-yet Christians. Lostness happens to God’s people. It happens within the beloved community. It’s not that we cross over once and for all from a sinful lostness to a righteous ‘found-ness.’ We get lost over and over again – and God finds us over and over again. Lostness is not a blasphemous aberration; it’s part and parcel of the life of faith.” What can we learn from lostness? Thomas quotes Barbara Brown Taylor, “Lostness shows us who we really are, and who God really is.” We learn that God continually searches for us, and that is amazing grace!

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