Every three years I have the opportunity to override the Lectionary and preach on something dear to me. I realize I can override the Lectionary any Sunday I choose but this Sunday, the fourth Sunday in Lent for Year C, I almost feel I have to.
The Gospel lesson in the Lectionary is Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32, which is all well and good, except we read, “So he told them this parable:” (Lk 15:3) and then are directed to leave out the first two parts of the parable. This is weird, so I don’t. Our Gospel lesson this Sunday was Luke 15:1-32 which encompasses the full parable which is made up of three stories, namely, The Lost Sheep, The Lost Coin and The Lost Boy and I’m not at all sure why you’d leave any of them out. So I didn’t.
I strongly believe we miss the point of Jesus’ story if we only look at one of them because the three of them work so wonderfully well together. By looking at all three of the stories we can look at “lostness” from the perspective of being lost through our own foolishness, through no fault of our own, and through our own choices. The extra wonderful thing in all of this is no matter why we are lost, God is always looking for us and will always find us.