Summary: This is my third attempt at this sermon, They call it the parable of the lost coin, what is the christian's role in finding this coin, the lamp, I believe there's a role that is over looked, will you be the broom?
Sri Lankan edition MK 3; Being the broom. Luke 15:8-10
When we look at the scriptures there is a certain amount of danger in putting a label on something that can take our focus away from other important things.
In the following parable what is important, what are the important features of this little story Jesus tells?
The Parable of the Lost Coin (Luke 13:8-10)
“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbours together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Jesus tells us this little parable about lost people being found; in it he compares those lost people to a silver coin, a lost silver coin.
Now in our day and age with rampant inflation a silver coin is for most of us not a big deal, I’m sure we would all prefer notes. Back in the day this coin a ‘denarius’ was an average days wage, I just happen to have a denarius coin that was minted just before Jesus’ birth, or so the person who sold it to me said and this is it. A small silver coin. This is the type of coin referred to in Jesus parable.
For a woman it may have had a more significant use than as just spending money, in the Society and culture of Jesus time it could have been part of her wedding head-dress of ten coins…a special grouping of coins that would have taken her years to collect. Comparing its loss with losing something today; I would say it would be like a lady losing a stone out of her engagement ring, or maybe a special item of jewellery. For the men here think about losing your keys, when you are in a rush to get out the door.
So as Jesus tells his parable, we get this picture of a woman having lost something of real value. Jesus is comparing this woman to God and the coin to the lost sinner. A fairly brave thing to do back in the day, comparing God to a woman.
Today I want to speak about a tool that the woman used to find the coin; you may have missed the word that referred to this tool when I read the parable. What was the tool, the lamp? We are the light of the world, just as we are the salt of the Earth, I’m sure we all like the idea of bringing light into a dark world. Who likes to be the light, brightening the surroundings? However the lamp is not the tool can anyone tell me what the tool is that the woman is using to find the lost coin. Jesus said “doesn’t she sweep the house until she finds it.” She uses a broom the really important tool, in this really important passage is the broom, the humble broom.
Now you might be thinking what about the broom? Well as you can tell from the stunning example of broominess I hold in my hand, that there are a couple of fairly important features to any broom the head and the handle.
Back to those features in a few minutes. What was this whole “sweep the house” thing about, it’s about looking for the coin? Well the house was dark and the lamp was a tiny oil filled lamp that put out about as much light as a candle, no flash LED lamps back in those days or even a good torch. The woman she was using her vision and her hearing to find this valuable possession, ladies keep thinking valuable stone, men; vehicle keys, her valuable denarius coin, worth a whole days pay. The house was still darkish. The broom was used so that the lady could hear the coin as she swept, so looking as she swept, for a glint of light, listening for the sound of broom brushing the coin.