It never ceases to amaze me the mountains of t-shirts, sweaters, jeans, shorts, jackets, lunch kits, water bottles, and myriad other miscellaneous items that end up in the lost and found each and every term of each and every school year!

Braving the stink

One would think that these items, some of which are rather expensive, would be cared for and kept track of by their owners. However, life is busy, school just happens and things get lost in the shuffle:  from homeroom to PE, from music to library, from art to chapel—and then there is X-Block!

Parents drop in occasionally, if they dare, to hold their breath and go digging into the cupboard to see if they can find that hoody their son received as a gift from Grandma for his birthday, which he just could not find! Sometimes parents are able to find their long, lost treasure, but sometimes they leave disappointed as it was nowhere to be found.

That’s mine!

Several times a year, before the holidays, all of these items (minus the lunch bags reeking of rotten, mouldy leftovers!) are put on display to be retrieved by their owners. As they are sorted folded and placed on the table, it becomes apparent that some of the clothing is actually labelled with the initials or even the full name of students. How fortunate that we can know exactly who some of these clothes and items belong to, and we can return them to their owners immediately. There are, of course, many items left unclaimed. They are gathered up, cleaned and laundered, and sent off to bless others who are less fortunate.

As my eyes scan the array of items, I am reminded of the old hymn, “I once was lost, but now am found.” What a poignant example of our own story that we were lost but have now been found. The indelible label on us means that we can never truly be lost. We have the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit written on our hearts and we belong to our triune God.

Loved even at our worst

We might look all terribly crumpled and messy, worn, stained, and we all probably stink at various times in our lives (figuratively AND literally) but we are treasured by the God who gave His one and only Son who came to this earth and took upon Himself all of our ugly sins. We might feel desperately lost at times in our lives, but we will always be found by Him.

As the good Shepherd of His sheep, Jesus will seek and find us wherever we may be lost. He will carry us home in His arms and return us to our loving heavenly Father—because we bear His holy Name.

At this time of year, we are privileged to freely celebrate the birth of our Saviour, who is the Lamb of God and was born in a stable. Let us join with the heavenly host singing, “Glory to God”, for each of us is His priceless treasure once lost, but now found!