Lost

With apologies to John Bell and Graham Maule of the Iona Community's Wild Goose Worship Group, who devised this Jesus/Peter format, this is a dialogue I wrote to go along with the third part of the "Lost for Words" course on faith sharing, by CPAS.

Jesus:
Peter...?
Peter: Yes, Jesus?
Jesus: Is there something wrong?
Peter: I’m just thinking about those stories you told us...
Jesus: Which ones Peter? There are quite a few…
Peter: You know… those ones about the foolish shepherd and the careless housewife…
Jesus: The what? I don’t remember those ones Peter…
Peter: You know, the ones where they managed to lose a sheep and a coin and then had to spend ages looking for them...
Jesus: Trust you to look at it that way...
Peter: Well, my Dad taught me to look after my things so I wouldn’t lose them… So I like to know where things are… I can’t stand carelessness…
Jesus: And that’s good… Wouldn’t want you misplacing the keys to heaven…
Peter: What?
Jesus: Never mind...
Peter: Anyway, I can’t understand what you were on about… It’s always the same with these paradiddles you keep telling us… Why can’t you just tell us things straight instead of using all these stories…
Jesus: You’d like me to make it simple and straightforward for you?
Peter: Yes… A nice simple A-Z of the Kingdom of God…
Jesus: Tried that before but it didn’t make any difference...
Peter: What do you mean?
Jesus: What do you think the 10 Commandments and the other Laws were? But people don’t pay much attention to those, do they?
Peter: I suppose you’re right…
Jesus: Thanks, Peter… that’s a ringing endorsement!
Peter: But why are the stories so difficult to understand?
Jesus: Are they?
Peter: Well, what about those ones I was talking about?
Jesus: The foolish shepherd and the careless housewife?
Peter: Yes…
Jesus: Well, what’s so difficult to understand about that...
Peter: Well, are you saying that God is like them?
Jesus: What do you think?
Peter: Well, surely God wouldn’t be as foolish as either of them… He wouldn’t lose anything important…
Jesus: The point isn’t that the shepherd and the housewife lost the things in the first place, but that they didn’t stop looking until they found what they had lost…
Peter: But the shepherd could have ended up losing the rest of his sheep abandoning the other 99 while he went after the lost one…
Jesus: That’s the risk he took for the sheep that was lost… His priority wasn’t those who were within the flock but the one that was lost and alone…
Peter: Foolishness… The sheep had brought it on itself… Just like that lad in the other story you told…
Jesus: What one?
Peter: The one about the Father who was a sucker…
Jesus: The what!?!
Peter: You know… the one where the younger son suckers his dad into giving him his part of the will before he died and then welcomes the rat-bag back when he has used up all the loot on fast women and slow camels…
Jesus: Again, an interesting take on the whole story…
Peter: Aye… I was on the side of the big brother in that one… How dare that wee worm come crawling back? And how dare his father waste more of his inheritance on throwing a party for him? I tell you, if Andrew had behaved like that, our Dad Jonah would have used him for fishbait… If I didn’t throttle him first…
Jesus: But my Dad isn’t like that…
Peter: Then he’s a fool…
Jesus: If he’s a fool, he’s a fool who loves people very much… A fool who is not just waiting for his lost children to find their way home… But who has sent his son to seek them out... Like the very best kind of shepherd, or a diligent housewife… And when he brings them home he’ll run out to meet them on the road, ready to welcome them home…
Peter: Has he no sense of dignity?
Jesus: When it comes to seeking out the lost, absolutely none… He would go to any lengths to find them…
Peter: Any lengths?
Jesus: Any lengths!
Peter: Any risks?
Jesus: Any lengths, any risks!
Peter: Even at the risk of his own life?
Jesus: Even at the risk of his own life…
Peter: That’s how much he loves the lost?
Jesus: This is how much he loves the lost… (Holds out his arms)
© David Campton October 2007

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