Summary: Allow Jesus Christ to love you, to carry you safely home, and to welcome you to eternal life with God!
We worship God not only through songs but also through the listening and learning from the Word of God. The theme for the Holiday Folk Fair is “Celebrating the Culture of the Story”. Many stories are told of course because there is something to learn from them. In God’s Word, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, tells many stories with a lesson; these stories are called parables.
As written in your handout, in the Gospel of Luke Chapter 15, Jesus spoke of a shepherd who had 100 sheep. When one of the sheep strayed, the shepherd looked for the lost sheep and when it was found, the shepherd carried the sheep on his shoulders. When they got safely home, the shepherd celebrated with his family and friends for the lost sheep found!
Jesus then spoke of a woman who lost one of her 10 silver coins. The woman carefully and diligently looked for the lost coin and when she found it, she spent the coin and more to celebrate with her family and friends. Finding the coin was more important than the value of the coin; why? - because the coin was special to her; we can say that she loved that coin.
Then Jesus told a third story in Luke 15:11-24…. The story of the Prodigal Son.
“A man had two sons. The younger son said to his father, ‘Give me my share of the property.’ So the father divided the property between his two sons. Then the younger son gathered up all that was his and traveled far away to another country. There he wasted his money in foolish living. After he had spent everything, a time came when there was no food anywhere in the country, and the son was poor and hungry. So he got a job with one of the citizens there who sent the son into the fields to feed pigs. The son was so hungry that he wanted to eat the pods the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. When he realized what he was doing, he thought, ‘All of my father’s servants have plenty of food. But I am here, almost dying with hunger. I will leave and return to my father and say to him, “Father, I have sinned against God and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son, but let me be like one of your servants.”’ So the son left and went to his father.
“While the son was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt sorry for his son. So the father ran to him and hugged and kissed him. The son said, ‘Father, I have sinned against God and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Hurry! Bring the best clothes and put them on him. Also, put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get our fat calf and kill it so we can have a feast and celebrate. My son was dead, but now he is alive again! He was lost, but now he is found!’ So they began to celebrate.
The story is summarized in your handout…….
Why did Jesus tell these stories? Remember, they were parables, stories with lessons. What were the lessons? You see, Jesus was accused of hanging out with sinners, people who disobey God. Jesus explained why He was with sinners.
The Lost sheep represents a lost person because of sin, disobeying God! And like the shepherd who sought out the lost sheep and carried it home, Jesus will seek out any lost person and would carry them safely home if the person is willing. Note that the sheep did not resist being carried. The sheep yielded to the good shepherd.
Do we yield to God and Savior Jesus Christ? Jesus is the only One who can carry us back to God!
The Lost coin represents people precious to God. God loves every person in the world that He allowed Jesus Christ the Son of God to die for all our sins, that whoever believes in Jesus are found to be eternally destined for heaven!
And the Prodigal son tells us, we are always welcomed by God if we return to Him.
Have you returned to God through belief in Jesus Christ as only Savior and God?
Allow Jesus Christ to love you, to carry you safely home, and to welcome you to eternal life with God!
May there be much rejoicing in heaven today from here!