May faith guide your way, and love light each day, at Christmas and in the new year. St. Paul Lutheran Church in Runge extends to all an invitation to visit our church any Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. and join us for worship. The following message was prepared by Pastor Randal Bruno for our January 2013 church newsletter.
God will never lose you.
The Israelites said to Moses, "We are perishing; we are lost, all of us are lost! (Numbers 17:12 NRS)
I happen to be one of those people who hate to lose things and therefore normally do not. Lately that has not been the case. I seem to be getting worse at losing things. Do not worry; I have not lost anything major like my wife or my truck. (Boy, I would hate to lose my truck.--Just kidding.) Most often it is something insignificant that I lose, but still important to me. I have not said anything to my kids about this for they would be too quick to point out that most likely it all started from losing my mind. Which may be true; or is it?--I can't remember. Most likely these lost things are simply misplaced. And even though I have looked for them, I do find some comfort in knowing that they simply wait for my finding them some day.
I think that what is worse than losing a few things is the feeling of being lost. I am not necessarily talking about being lost as in not being able to find your way around town; although if that ever happened while you live in a small town maybe it would be best just to keep it to yourself. I am talking about feeling lost in life. Perhaps you have stepped off the right path for a moment, perhaps you have gotten too caught up in the world, or perhaps you have simply lost sight of who you follow. It happens from time to time and for various reasons. And even if it does, you are not the first.
Consider the case of the ancient Israelites with Moses. They seemed fairly steadfast in faith even in the midst of literally being slaves. They were grateful to God for being released. They were happy that they had a leader like Moses. They became increasingly unhappy though as their situation changed. They wanted to move from a land of slavery immediately to a land of milk and honey-but that was to take some time, and they did not want to wait. What they claim in the passage above is that Moses has lost them in the desert. Which I admit would not be a pleasant experience. But what they fail to see is that they are really lost in another way. It is not a matter so much of physical direction; it is more a matter of spiritual direction. It is not where they are that matters; it is whose they are. So there is some irony in their words as they cry "we are lost" because it is true.
Fortunately for them, God sent a leader, a prophet, a believer, a person to help them and guide them back on to that right path. Their leader did this by always first asking God what to do, and then always following through on what he was told. And those ancient Israelites, as children of God, fared well when they followed. What is equally important for us is that God also sent us a leader. He too is a prophet, a believer, and a person sent to help and guide us. And He is a lot more than Moses in that he is also God. He is where we turn when lost, and He is the one who truly works at finding us by constantly calling us home.
We just celebrated His birth and all too soon we will be commemorating His death. Yet all of that was done by God for the sake of His children, of which you are one.-And if that is not enough good news, then know that God will never lose you. Yet at the same time God will rejoice if you happen to be lost in seeking him, and finally listen to his call and find your way home again.
God's Peace, Pastor Randy.