‘Celebrate with me! I’ve found my lost sheep!’ Count on it—there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner’s rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue.
Luke 15:6b-7 (Message)
We thank you Father God that we are saved through your grace and not through any actions of our own. We know that when we stray you are always there to bring us back into your fold.
We welcome our preacher this morning who is Rev John Wiggall
After service tea hosts Chris and Joan
Our thanks for the flowers this morning which are given by Beryl and Gill in memory of a their parents Vince and Ada Lamb
Organist: Joan McGowan
Sunday 18th September
11.00am Rev Neville Pugh (Harvest – Parade)
Vestry Steward – Ian
Door Steward – Warren
Tea Hosts – Warren and Vera
Tue 13th Every Day with Jesus Study Group 10.30am
Wed 14th Midweek Communion at Regent Street 11.15am
Fri 16th Friday Lunch Club in the Hall. £3.00
Mon 19th Alpha Course at Gresford 6.30pm
Tue 20th Circuit Meeting at Overton 7.30pm
Sun 25th Messy Church here at Caergwrle 4.00pm – 6.00pm
Mon 26th “Time Out” a monthly reflective worship 2.00pm at the home of Barry and Angela Smith
Tue 27th Coffee Morning at Llangollen 10.00am
Tue 27th Harvest Meal at Rhosymedre 1.00pm
Fri 30th Harvest Festival at Overton 6.30pm
Please pray for the following:
Pete and Ruby Kasprowicz
Keith and Myra Baugh
All those who care for those in need.
We thank God for answered prayer and ask that he helps us to understand that all things do work together for good.
Please note that our next Church Council meeting is on Monday 10th October at 7.30pm One of the items on the agenda will be a proposal for the work to be carried out on refurbishing the hall and decisions will be needed to enable the work to move forward. Please make every effort to attend so that we have a balance of opinions and views.
Getting Lost and Getting Found: Joy in the Presence of the Angels!
I hate getting lost. For others it may be an adventure, I know, but I am one who is thrown into a state of panic when I do not recognize my surroundings. Or when I recognize my surroundings but know they are not where I am supposed to be. Indeed, I am profoundly grateful for the gift of GPS on my phone which hardly ever lets me down — although it is also so that from time to time the maps in cyber space have not yet caught up with reality on the ground and more than once this fool proof tool for preventing getting lost has also let me down.
I was eight years old and in the third grade. It was a day in October. I was new enough to this classroom that the teacher did not really know me yet. I was not so new that I had not already learned the consequences for certain infractions.
We were outside for afternoon recess. My sister, Martha’s, 2nd grade class also happened to be on the playground at the same time and I was playing with her. This is, by the way, the only time I can remember this being so. Perhaps because of what happened next.
And so it was that I was away from my classmates and I did not see my teacher standing at her designated spot on the playground with one hand raised to signal it was time to go back inside. I did not see the other eight year old’s form a single file line and follow her up the fire escape stairs and back inside for a Social Studies lesson. (Yes, these 47 years later I still remember that.) For some reason, though, I quickly sensed something was wrong. I looked up from our play and scanned the children remaining on the playground and realized my class was gone. I scampered to the stairs and ran up them as quickly as I could and I found myself peering through the window of the fire door that locks when you go out and which will not open without a key and I saw my classmates taking off their jackets and hanging them on their designated hooks. My teacher saw me. And she told the other children not to let me in.
And so I sat at the top of those stairs and considered my options. I could walk around to the front of the building and make may way inside the other way. However, just a week before two little boys had made the same mistake and when they tried that our teacher simply shooed them outside to wait until she was good and ready to let them in.
I could certainly walk on home, but then I would have to explain to my mother how I had managed to get locked out. I knew it was my ‘fault.’ I felt foolish and ashamed. And I did not want her to know.
Or I could just sit and wait.
And so I did. Just sit and wait, that is. For a good long hour I sat and waited until the school day was done and finally the door was opened to me so that I could come back in where I was kept after school to complete the lesson I had missed.
It was a profoundly shaming experience for me. And while I shake my head at this teacher’s methods, this is also so: I learned my lesson. I was never late again.
Now through it all, of course, I knew exactly where I was. I was perched at the top of the fire escape outside the third grade classroom at Lincoln School on South Main Street in Rochelle. Even so, I was “lost.” I was away from where I belonged. My getting lost started with my getting separated from the flock — from my fellow third graders. My attention got distracted a little bit at a time and pretty soon there was no getting back to where I belonged on my own.
One might say I was something like the one sheep who slowly eats his way away from the rest of the flock. She is looking down — only focused on the food that is before her. She doesn’t mean to get separated, for sheep, in fact, are born with a ‘herd’ instinct and they will never do this on purpose. But all of a sudden, she looks up and all the rest are gone. And the only way she can get back to where she belongs is if the shepherd comes after her.
In the same way in the story I offer now, the only way I could get back to where I belonged was if someone else opened the door.
Here is what I love about the stories before us now: They speak the certain truth that it is God’s action that saves us and not our own. Like the lost sheep and the lost coin you and I simply cannot ‘get found’ all on our own. We cannot open the door ourselves. They speak vividly to God’s intent always to rescue the lost. They offer a marvellous picture of heaven — all those angels throwing a party when the one who was lost is found again. And yes, they stand in sharp relief to what we too often experience in this world now. Which is part of what may make such as this so very hard to imagine. It is also what makes us so very grateful for the amazing gifts of God.
Rev Dr Janet H Hunt, First Lutheran, DeKalb, Illinois, USA