The Clash were a seminal punk rock band that shaped my youth and influenced who I am today. Their raw songs not only had the punch of Mohammed Ali, but their musical style bobbed and weaved like him too.
On what I believe to be one of the greatest records of all time, London Calling, the band recorded a somewhat odd song called “Lost In the Supermarket” with the lyrics:
I’m all lost in the Supermarket
I can no longer shop happily
i came in here for that special offer
Who hasn’t entered this world market place searching for something better than what you already have? It’s a part of our everyday consumer driven economy.
In an earlier life I was a copywriter in various advertising agencies, spinning words and creating visuals that would entice you to abandon your old life (or car, or favorite cat food) for something new and better (my client’s product). Eventually I simply couldn’t do it anymore because what I was noticing is that people were no longer shopping happily, but more fearfully about being left behind, our dated, or old. In essence I had become lost in the world that I helped create.
Today, while studying Luke 15 with a friend, I was reminded that sometimes being lost isn’t such a bad thing because it forces us to shift our thinking (what got us lost in the first place) which can actually lead us to someplace new (being found or rescued). In a consumer driven economy this would require investing more money in something that has a limited life span. But in an economy of grace, the price has already been paid and the benefits are everlasting.
Richard Rohr writes about it like this:
”God’s inclusion of us reveals God’s humility, graciousness, and love. Only inside an economy of grace can we see that God wants free and willing partners. An economy of merit cannot process free love or free anything. “Not servants, but friends” (John 15:15) is God’s plan.”
The economy of grace ace is based on God’s love for us. And it offers forgiveness, total acceptance, and dare I say a guaranteed personality. For no other reason but great love for us, God came to be with us...to be our shepherd that seeks out the lost sheep. And when one lost sheep is found and brought back, a joyous celebration of love explodes.
Here’s what I wrote to my friend to begin our discussion of the Luke 15 passage we read this morning:
“Have you ever felt lost in life? Aimlessly wandering around wondering where to go or what to do?
Physically lost is one thing. And spiritually lost is another; consequences seem to be much more grave. When we are spiritually lost we seem to be without God (or grace), we are blind, we are sick, we are tortured will aimless and seem without purpose or need. More often than not, sense of wandering can makes us also feel unwanted; alone and hollow.
The good news is God comes after the lost. Through Christ, God seeks us out, looks for us all over the place, and celebrates like never before when we are found.
What other god do you know of that would do that? Money? Fame? Consumerism? Nation? These all pale to give what our God can give us: freedom to roam, but never alone. To be filled with hope and peace and love...and when empty that cup, it gets filled again...overflowing with abundance!
Our God is a God who gives, and does not take. This is a God who loves, and does not hate. This is a God who desires to be with us for no other reason but pure love.
Jesus is that love. We are his sheep. And he is our shepherd.”
Jesus came for the lost sheep, you and me. He saw the sheep and had pity on them and showed compassion to them. When one would stray, he would leave the others to find the one, knowing those in his flock were being cared for and protected.
I often feel lost, especially when I get dragged into Costco! But there seems to be some kind of Divine GPS system in me that clicks on every time I feel the fear and anxiety rush over me. Something in my heart turns on and I feel peace and calm knowing that God is watching over me, leading me to where I need to go.
Click here to read Richard Rohr’s An Economy of Grace
An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”