Belfast Telegraph

Relief at finding my car brought to mind delight over a repenting sinner

Thought for the weekend

At a loss: the car park conundrum
At a loss: the car park conundrum

By Rev Gareth Burke

I had a very embarrassing experience on Wednesday afternoon. When you read the details of it you’ll think I’m daft or else, very unkindly, you’ll think I had a ‘senior moment’.

I lost my car. I was visiting in one of the hospitals and parked my car on the second floor of the multi-storey car park.

When I was leaving the hospital I returned to the second floor and it wasn’t there. Now, of course, it wasn’t my fault!

I knew it was on the second floor — it was parked in a dark, concealed space.

Instinctively, I thought it had been stolen.

But, just in case it happened to be on another floor, I decided to take a walk around to see if I could spot it.

Unbelievably, 20 minutes later, I found it on the sixth floor, not in a concealed spot but right out in the open air on the top floor of the car park.

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Well, I was a happy man.

That which was lost was found.

There’s a woman in the Bible who Jesus spoke about — you can read about her in Luke 15. She really did lose something valuable.

She had 10 coins which had been probably given to her by her husband when she got married and she lost one of them.

She seemed to have lived in a fairly small house with little light and she was determined to find the lost coin.

Jesus says that she went for the biggest spring clean you have every witnessed and, wonderfully, somewhere in an obscure corner, she found the lost coin.

Was she happy? You’ve got to believe it. The Bible tells us that she called her friends and neighbours together and held a party to celebrate.

Now, why would Jesus have told a story like that?

I mean, it’s quite interesting and it has a nice ending, but why do we need to know about some unknown woman who lost a special coin?

Well, here’s what Jesus said: “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

That’s it. As the woman rejoiced with her friends and neighbours when that which was lost had been found, so God rejoices with the angels of heaven when a sinner repents and turns to God in faith.

I wonder, will there be rejoicing in heaven today?

Belfast Telegraph


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