Anytime I hear the word reconciliation, I automatically think of a relationship being restored. Luke 15 contains popular stories of reconciliation: The Parable of the Prodigal Son and The Parable of the Lost Sheep.
However, nestled between those two parables is The Parable of the Lost Coin. This is also a story of reconciliation, but of a different type. In accounting, reconciliation has to do with being able to account for all money that has been brought in and out. And in this situation, the woman is in a panic because she has lost one of ten coins. She cannot account for what she has been entrusted with. Therefore there is a problem in her reconciliation until she finds the lost coin.
She knows that the coin did not walk off and choose to leave her. She knows that each of her coins was worth a day’s labor. She knows she is responsible for its disappearance. She lost it. Luckily, she does know she lost it under her roof.
The woman chooses to search for the coin using two tools: a lamp and a broom. She lit the lamp and was willing to let it burn until she found the lost coin. This observation should not be overlooked. It would have taken oil for the lamp to work and oil was valuable. However, she was willing to sacrifice one valuable resource for the sake of finding the most valuable resource.
The next thing she used was a broom. This was a simple tool that worked in partnership with the woman. Unlike the lamp, she had to hold it and put it into motion for it to work. Without the woman, the broom was worthless. With the woman holding, pushing, pulling, and directing it, the broom became a tool that could get to hard to reach places and draw anything far back into close proximity of the woman.
Reflecting on this parable, we need to think of a few things.
- Who “under our roof” is lost that we need to account for and have access to?
- As a lamp, are we a vessel full of oil that can be lit? Or is your lamp empty unable to hold a fire?
- Are you using the tool God gave you to reach the lost? Or, are you leaving it propped in a corner, relinquishing your ability to get to those in hard to reach places? This could be your giftings, but also prayer.
We need to reflect on this parable to realize that we are tools and have been given tools that God wants to use to reconcile the lost.
You are a Tool of Reconciliation!
The Parable of the Lost Coin Luke 15:8-10
8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins[a] and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”