April 02, 2007


Luke 19:1-10

"The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost." Luke 19:10


I saw a newspaper article about a huge whale that had become stranded on a beach. A photo with the article showed dozens of volunteers struggling to save the whale, trying to keep it from getting dehydrated and to bring it into deeper water--but to little avail. A whale that can swim great distances in the ocean at speeds of 30 miles per hour becomes a helpless giant, doomed to die, when it's out of its proper element.

Every form of life has its proper element: the environment in which it can flourish.

When Scripture speaks of us as lost, it says we human beings are also out of our proper element. We're like a beached whale. We cannot truly flourish. Estranged from God, the source of life and our proper home, disaster befalls us. The prophet Jere?miah writes that we've become like a bush in the wilderness instead of like a tree planted by the water, a tree that never fails to bear fruit (see Jeremiah 17).

Jesus has come to seek and save the lost. He is the great volunteer who comes to take us out of our wilderness and back to God, "in [whose] presence there is fullness of joy; in [whose] right hand are pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:11, NRSV).

Like Zacchaeus, we must come out of hiding and follow Jesus home.

Lord Jesus, take our hand and lead us to the Father, that we might have life and have it in great abundance. Fill us with your life and keep us in your care forever, we pray. Amen.

About the author — Jack Roeda

Rev. Jack Roeda is the senior pastor at Church of the Servant Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and an adjunct professor of preaching at Calvin Theological Seminary. He is married to Carol Sue Kok, and they have three children and two grandchildren. Pastor Roeda has served two previous churches: Exeter (Ont.) Christian Reformed Church and Calvary Christian Reformed Church, Holland, Michigan.

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