Jesus came to seek and save the lost


Have you ever been lost?  I mean, really lost?

I yelled for my 9-year-old daughter to “hurry up” so we could go do some catching.  I had visions of walleyes running through my head.  I was in such a hurry that I left the map of the lake behind.  That was my first mistake.  The second mistake was not paying attention to the shoreline as I headed toward a distant rocky point that I had spotted as the float plane was landing.  The third mistake was leaving that spot in search of more fish. I will always choose quantity over quality when it comes to fishing. Folks always want to know how many you caught before they ask about the size.

As we went from point to point and cove to cove catching fish, I somehow got turned around.  If you have ever been in the Canadian wilderness you will know that it is all rocky points and pine trees.  There are no marker poles, no signs, no buoys, nothing to distinguish one cove from another.  I was lost!

One of the challenges of being a guy is that we learn early not to admit that we are lost.  My daughter asked me, “Daddy, are we lost?”  I stammered and did the usual guy song and dance about seeing new areas and wanting her to explore new territory.  Emily did not buy it. It is hard to con a kid that had learned my evasive behavior while sitting in the back seat of the car. 

Emily said, “Daddy I’m going to pray to Jesus for help.”  I wanted to say, “What do you think I’ve been doing for the last half an hour?” Afraid to give myself away, I kept silent and listened to her simple prayer. “Dear Jesus, help my daddy because he is lost. Amen.”

God answered Emily’s prayer in a miraculous way.  Ask me about it sometime and I’ll give you the details. Being rescued was a great relief, and a cause for both inward and outward rejoicing.

Advent is a time for remembering the gift of the child that came to save us.  It is a time for preparing our hearts to celebrate that Emmanuel is still with us. It is a time of rejoicing because his light still overcomes and vanquishes all darkness.  It is a time to surrender to the one that came to “seek and to save the lost.”

Have you ever been lost? Of course, you have been. Everyone, at some point, has been lost. The Bible says, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray.”  The reason that God sent Emmanuel into the world to dwell among us is because we all need a guide to provide direction. Sad to say, but some folks do not believe that they are lost or that others are spiritually lost. As a result, we have not been motivated with a sense of urgency in sharing the “good news” of the Gospel.

The Christmas season is a time for celebrating and rejoicing because light has come into our dark world.  The good news is that the light has been given to help show us the way out of our state of lost-ness.

Emily gave me a wonderful gift through her simple prayer. Ask the Lord for help, because that is why he came. He came to save us and to provide a way to reach our eternal destination. Jesus came bringing light, hope, peace and joy.

Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year to each of you. As you rejoice in Christ our Savior, remember to express appreciation for God’s amazing grace.

Join with the IGRC family in saying, because of God’s gift to the world, “I once was lost, but now I am found!”
God Bless
Bishop Beard