We’ve been found. Now what? This seems to be the logical progression of these “lost and found” parables. The Good Shepherd goes and looks for that one sheep “until he finds it.” The woman turns the house upside down until she finds the lost coin. The father goes running out to the younger son, and then leaves the party to invite the older son to join them. The lost manager connects with fellow lost debtors, and by doing so, reconnects them to the rich man. God searches for us when we are lost by whatever means, even by way of a cross. Once we are found, then what?
That question is implicit in the Lost Sons parable. Jesus is silent about what the younger son does after the party, but we know what we would do. We know how we would act. We would live a life that expresses gratitude to the father in every and any way possible. “What do you want me to do today, Dad?” Jesus’ silence pushes us to own that conviction for ourselves.
The question “Now what?” seems to be explicit in this week’s parable. Will we be convinced if someone rises from the dead? Convinced of what? Will we be convinced that God takes the plight of the vulnerable and poor very seriously? Once we’ve been found by the one who rises from the dead, will we act like the Rich Man, ignoring the needy who are at our gates, perpetuating our lostness, or will we act like people who have been found, and express the joy of being found by caring for the needy?
The riches that we receive by way of the one who rises from the dead are way, way, way beyond the monetary, physical assets of the richest of the rich. Eternal life permanently connected to the love of the Creator – a life that begins right now in this life – is a wealth that make everything else pale in comparison. How much richer do we really need to be? Is it possible to be any richer?
Now, was the Rich Man selfish with Lazarus because he was afraid he’d lose something by giving Lazarus what was needed? Probably. Didn’t he know that his giving would bear more blessings in his life than what he gave up? At least we know this truth, don’t we? We know that we don’t need to be fearful in our giving because we cannot out-give God. And, what a wonderful way it is to express the joy of being found, by trying to out-give God. Sharing the riches always multiplies the riches in God’s economy. How sad it is for those who are too fearful to experience the joy that comes with this sharing; the joy that comes with being found by the one who rises from the dead.
What do you think?
Click on the title of this posting in order to share your thoughts at the bottom of that new window. We will keep this conversation thread open all week and beyond, so please come back to view how the conversation is going.