By October 2, 2017 No Comments

Ever lost your keys? A password? Your temper? Losing things can be easy. Finding them, not so much. Apparently, it was easy to lose things in ancient times as well. In the Gospel of Luke Jesus tells three stories to illustrate a point: a story of a lost sheep (Luke 15:3-7), a lost coin (Luke 15:8-10), and a lost son (Luke 15:11-32). It’s the last story that has provided us with the inspiration for our YCNL 2017 theme, “Home” in Luke 15’s HOMEcoming of the Prodigal Son. In all three episodes Jesus makes a powerful point to combat the religious cynics and critics who were upset at him for his proximity to “sinful people”. The real focus of the stories are not that things will inevitably get lost. These parables illustrate the relentlessness of the one who has lost something. In each account we have a relentless pursuit of individuals to find that lost thing: a relentless shepherd, a relentless woman, and a relentless Father who never gives up on his wayward son. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20, NLT). What would happen if we turned lostness into a relentless pursuit of the thing we lost…when we lose a friend we pursue more friendliness….when we lose an opportunity we pursue possibilities…when we lose perspective pursue new focus…when we lose our keys we pursue a tile (the non-techies can Google it 😃)…when we lose our cool we pursue peace…when we lose our way we pursue the road HOME. This week we are bringing YC Home. After eighteen years it could be easy to slack off, slow down, or let someone else step in. Jesus reminds us in three ancient stories that as long as there is even one who is lost God’s pursuit is relentless. What would happen if we matched His relentless pursuit of the lost? What would happen if youth leaders, volunteers, and staff leaned into a generation when many are letting go? A relentless pursuit will lead them HOME!

Author Dean Brenton

Executive Director of Ministry Development & Strategic Initiatives PAONL, YCNL Director, Pastor, Husband, Dad, Diakonoi, Christ-follower.

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