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St. Andrew's 18 March 2007

First my apologies to anyone who has looked in over the last couple of weeks - I'll claim pressure of work for a fortnight ago and disappointment of going to to watch City at Blackburn for last week. This week we are back for the best or parables - you could preach this every week and find something different - today is influenced by Mother's Day and a number of recent deaths.

Luke 15.1-3, 11b-32

A Story of Loss.
Lost - mother, son, brother, relationships, ambition, innocence, pride, dignity, wealth, children
This Week - Phyllis, our loss of a good friend - her sadness at the loss of contact with son & grandchildren has made Mother's Day a sad day in her calendar
- Harry's memorial service - another long life well lived - died suddenly on the  far side of the world.
- Isaac - stillborn child of Anthony and Samantha - holding Isaac,  talking about a funeral and how they can live without him - a loss whose pain most of us can not imagine - but a loss a few of you have also experience, and continue to live with.

God - knows such loss - this story tells of God’s children wishing God dead and breaking away - losing inheritance, innocence, relationship, failed ambition, broken lives - Gospel is Jesus - God’s son being sent into a broken world - and lost to lonely death.

God knows the loss Phyliss has lived with, God knows the loss Samantha and Anthony  know at this time and will know as they move through life, God knows the loss you are facing at this time.

A Story of Grace
Not left there - in the midst of despair, grief, loss - story of Grace - not repentance - Father/Parent never stops loving, he waits, watching, expecting, hoping, - and the child returns - one who has lost everything, except his readiness to deal - no time, no opportunity - rushing, celebrating, welcoming - no deals - just Grace.

However lost we may be, however far we have travelled, whatever pain we carry, - God welcomes the lost children and throws a party for everyone.

Let us come to God as lost children and know grace.

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