13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

– Ephesians 2:13 (ESV)

Raise your hand if you hate being lost. If you didn’t actually raise your hand, don’t worry, I can see it lifted high in your heart. How can I be so sure you raised it? Because absolutely no one likes being lost. However, if you ever are lost, may I advise you to consider raising your hand. You see, when I was young, I was taught to raise my hand if I was lost. It may seem silly at first but for a small boy lost in a crowded mall at Christmas, it was the best advice I could ever have been given.

I’ll never forget the feeling of holding my mom’s hand one moment and being completely separated from her the next. For whatever reason, I didn’t realize it at first and simply began wandering off. When I came to my senses and realized what had happened, I’d wandered a long way off and had no clue which direction to go. I was surrounded by people but felt helpless and alone. I had been to the mall before but had no idea where I was. I was lost in a sea of people and commotion. With tears streaming down my face I remembered, “raise your hand.” I raised my hand and told a store worker I was lost. She took me to a counter and called my mom over the loudspeaker.

I learned a few things that day. First, my time frame for being lost was shortened by raising my hand, admitting I was lost, and seeking help. Second, I learned that when I was lost, I wasn’t alone in my pursuit of being found. My mom was looking for me even more profusely than I was looking for her. And third, when I was reunited with my mom, I wasn’t in trouble, I was hugged and loved.

As I look back on it, I do have to say, as much as I hated being lost, I really did love the feeling of being found. Friends, in a sense this is at the heart of Ephesians 2. We were all once lost and far away from God. But He pursued us and moved in us to raise our hand of faith in response to His grace. We will see this week in Ephesians 2:11-22, when we were found He welcomed us in love to a new community so that we would never be lost again.

Here is the worship set to help you prepare your heart.

Love you Church,

Jerry Lingenfelter
Senior Pastor