When I was very young, perhaps 2 or 3 I remember going to the bank with my dad. Back then we rarely did things just the two of us, and I’d certainly never been to a bank before, so it was a pretty exciting day.
Anyway, I remember being in the bank and I lost my dad. He obviously wasn’t far away, but with the crowd and the new experience I quickly became scared. Then I found him and what a relief! I spotted his shiny black shoes and black trousers through the crowd. I rushed over and wrapped myself around his leg as if my life depended on it.
Then the laughing began. In the midst of my fear I had grabbed the wrong dad. My excitement quickly turned to embarrassment as what seemed like a hundred people laughed at my misfortune. I started crying and my dad swooped in, picked me up and told me everything was going to be alright.
I’m sure we all have a memory like this one. Being lost. The fear, the dread, the anxiety, as if we will be lost forever. In that moment it feels as if no-one will come for us.
Early in Luke’s gospel, we hear of a story where Jesus gets lost in the temple. Not for a few moments but for a few days! I can only imagine how panicked his parents must have been. However, when they eventually found him, he was sitting calmly amongst the priests dazzling them with his knowledge and wisdom.
We discover that Jesus was in fact NOT lost. He was in his father’s house. He was home.
We all get lost sometimes. Whether it’s physically, emotionally or spiritually. During these times we need places and people who gather us in, who tell us everything will be alright. Places of love and belonging. Like the prodigal son we long for a home where we can return not with shame – but with rejoicing. A place where we are welcomed with a feast.
I’d like to invite you today to take some time. Stop and ask yourself:
Where that place is for you?