(Jesus said) "Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.' Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents." Luke 15:8-10
Twenty-five years ago Bernie Squitieri adorned his bride, Carla, with jewelry.
Well, that may not be entirely accurate. I know of only one bauble Squitieri gave his beloved on that day. Still, that single wedding band was a doozie, which cost the groom a bundle. And if you're wondering just how much a bundle is, I can tell you Carla's ring was worth $400,000. To put that into the parable language above, that's a lot of coins.
For a quarter-century Carla wore that precious ring. She had every intention of doing so for the rest of her life. And then, one recent Sunday evening, having cleaned up the kitchen, she took off her ring and put it on some paper towels to dry. Later, when Bernie went through the kitchen he saw a pile of paper towels and threw them into the garbage.
On Monday, Carla realized her ring was missing, and together they figured out it had been tossed into the household garbage. Even worse, the garbage, along with the ring had been picked up by the dumpster. A frantic call was made, and the couple learned their ring was headed to a radioactive garbage area.
The trash company was understanding and rerouted the truck to another site. There the vehicle's contents were dumped and the Squitieris were stuck with the nasty job of sorting through 10 tons of stinky, smelly, unsanitary, slimy stuff to find a small ring.
Now my question is how long would you have dug through that dumpster's contents?-an hour? a day? a week? as long as it took?
Unless I miss my guess, almost all of our Daily Devo folks have picked that last option. Nobody leaves a $400,000 ring in a junk pile. And if you didn't want to search for the ring, there are a lot of other folks who would.
Well, folks, now you understand what Jesus was driving at with His parable of the lost coin: make that the lost soul. So that the lost of this world might be saved from the radioactive fires of hell, Jesus came into this world and sacrificed His life so we might be rescued. His third-day resurrection from the dead says there is forgiveness and salvation for all who believe.
And now, and now He has asked His people to seek out and try to reclaim those who are lost. As individuals, as families, as congregations and denominations, the Savior wants us to be the helpers of the Holy Spirit in bringing light to those who are in darkness.
And when souls are touched by God's gracious hand and won -- down here, as well in heaven -- there should be great rejoicing.
Just like there was rejoicing for the Squitieris when, after 25 minutes of digging, the 12.5-carat ring was recovered.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant that I may be dedicated in searching for all those valuable, lost souls. In the Name of Jesus I ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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