Oliver Devadoss - Aspley, Queensland, Australia Convention - 2018

My thoughts have turned to Luke 15, and there are three lost things we read of in this chapter. The first one is the lost sheep, the second one a lost coin, and the third one is a lost son. The second one is a little different from the other two. The first one, the shepherd is searching for the sheep and the last one, the son left the home, and the father was waiting for him to come back. The second one, they are talking about the woman and she lost something.

Luke 15:8-9, “Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she loses one piece, doth not light a candle and sweep the house and seek diligently till she finds? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, 'Rejoice with me for I have found the piece which I had lost.'" She did not know when she lost the piece of silver, she had ten pieces of silver, and she lost one, and it was lost in the house. It was not until she started looking for the silver that she discovered one was missing and then she started searching. One piece of silver would have only cost three or4 dollars which is no money value. It had sentimental value.

The Indian woman, and especially the province I come from and this parable here had something to do with relationship. In India, all are arranged marriages. During the marriage ceremony and then the exchange of rings, the lady will have a necklace and put it around the bride's neck. It will be attached to a yellow string. In India when a girl is married to a man, she not only gets married to the man, she gets married to the family. In those days, they all used to live together, and if there were five or six families, they lived all together, so that is why they get married to the family.

During the marriage ceremony, the sisters and the cousins of the groom and they will take a small coin, and it may only be a little silver or gold coin and not much value. It has an emotional value attached to it. For an example, if I was to get married and had five sisters and five cousins and each one will tie a small coin to the neck lace and keep it in a safe till a particular day, and it is a festival. They put the marriage symbol in the middle, and they put the ten coins around it, and in this case, she had lost one coin. When the girl comes to the husband’s home, and she does not want anything to do with that sister-in-law or cousin, all she has to do is take the coin she gave and not use it. That can break the family and the culture where I come from they do what is in the Old Testament, and they keep the traditions and customs.

In keeping that tradition, she gives ten coins so carefully. She will not be looking at it every day, but she will take it out on the day of the function. When she was taking it out, she found there was one coin missing. When she found out she had lost it, the sister who had given the coin and she could say how much you value me and that is how much you are loving me. All the family may start fighting and could even break the marriage. So the coin that was lost was so important. She lit the candle and looked all over the place and swept the place and diligently she was seeking for it until she found it. So you can see why she was so happy when she had found the coin that had no material value at all.

Sometimes we may be in the same position. The Bible speaks about Jesus being the groom, and we are the bride. When we have made our choice to serve Jesus, and we do not just marry Jesus alone, and we are married into the family. We accept the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ; we accept the parents of Jesus Christ. We also love the family, and we want to belong to the family. We have to search our hearts and are we really in the family, and do we value each member of the family?

We may not realise we have lost some of the coins after we have made our choice. Loving one another is a coin. That is another piece of silver for the family and being kind to the family is another coin that was given to us. Being kind and honest and loving each other and they are a few of the coins that were given to us when we accepted Jesus. Over a period of time, we can lose some of these coins and then we can start hurting each other, and we may not accept one another. We may not honour each other. These are just some of the coins we may have lost over a period of time.

We need to light the candle, and there may be some dark spots in our life and we do not want anyone else to see. We want to keep it a secret and we need to search our hearts all the time in the will of God. Search through the word of God into the depth of our hearts. Sometimes we may sweep the house for the dust, and sometimes we may only find dust, but if we sweep diligently, we may find things lost of great value, and we may not realise that we have lost it. So when we search our hearts and we may find some unwanted things, and we also could find things that are very valuable that we have not used for so long. The things that we have found, that we have lost, to bring them out and make use of them. So we can have a better relationship with God and love each other better. So we can love the word of God better and honour it better. We need to search our hearts and find it if we have lost any coin and what we have lost which is of value spiritually in our lives, so we can retrieve it and make use of it, and we can have sweet fellowship again. Amen.