A few years ago our cat got outside when we weren't looking. We don't let our cats go outside because they get in fights with other cats and can get hurt. So we were worried about the cat and, for the next several days we would go outside, look through the bushes, and call her name. I don't know why we did that last thing. Cats never come when you call them. Finally, when we came back home one night the headlights of the car caught two eyes peering out at us from under the neighbor's stairs. Sure enough, it was our cat.
Now, we didn't throw a party like the woman who found her lost coin in the story we'll hear today, but we were very happy and probably cuddled and petted the cat way more than it needed for the next few days.
Jesus told his disciples some stories about things that were lost and then found to tell us about how happy God is when people who have done wrong (which is all of us) realize it and change what they do. The Bible even has a word for it. It's called "repenting." God is even more happy when people repent than we were when we found our cat. God works even more than we did to help us repent than we did to find our cat because God loves us more than we could love anything.
Let's pray about that.
God, we're glad that you love us and want us to do the right things. We're sorry when we don't. Thank you for loving us enough to find us when we're doing wrong and for helping us to find the right way to behave. Thank you for forgiving us.
Help us to show that forgiveness and love to other people.
We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.