The Lost Coin
When Jesus was small he liked to help his mother Mary around the house. He shook out his sleeping mat all on his own and rolled it up for her as the day began. He carried water from the river in his own little bucket. He cleaned the empty jars and boxes in the store room. And sometimes, just occasionally, when his Mom was in a very good mood, he even stomped the grapes to make the wine! Then his feet would get messy and red with juice. He’d have to remember to wash them before coming inside.
One day Jesus’ mother Mary looked terribly worried. Jesus asked her what was wrong. “I’ve lost a coin,” Mary said, “and I really need to find it.” So Jesus said, “Can I help?” and Mary said, “Yes.”
Jesus unrolled his sleeping mat and shook it carefully to see if anything was hidden inside. Three wooden donkeys fell out that Joseph had made for him to play with, but no metal coins. Then Jesus rolled up the mat and put it away. Next Jesus tipped up the empty jars in the store room and reached inside with his little hands. He found four spiders and a couple of flies but no coins. His mom said, “Be careful. There might be snakes and they’ll bite you,” but there weren’t and they didn’t. Then Jesus took down all the wooden spoons and plates from his mother’s shelf and checked them one by one. He found a few grains of wheat and a sticky patch of honey that he scraped off with his fingers, but no coins. Then he went outside to search the footpath around the house but all he found were stones. They looked like coins—they were round and shiny—but his mother said they really weren’t what she wanted. Finally Jesus tipped up the bucket of water and his mother said “No!”
“But I wanted to see if the coin was inside it,” said Jesus.
“But now we’ve got no water to wash in,” said his mother, so Jesus went to the river to get some more.
When Jesus came back his mother had lit up a lantern and was sweeping the floor. She swept behind the rolled up sleeping blankets. She swept around all the storage jars (making sure not to tip any over). She swept into every corner of the room, and around every piece of furniture, and under the window and next to the door. And then she shouted “Hurray! I’ve found my coin!”
Mary rushed outside holding the coin up in her hand. “I’ve found my coin,” she shouted as the sun sparkled and reflected off its silvery shine. All the women came out of their houses to look and cheered for her. Then one of the older boys rushed in from the fields to announce that a trader was coming.
“You found your coin just in time,” said one of Mary’s friends, and Mary smiled. She took the coin to the trader and bought a shiny metal tool with a long thin blade and a beautifully polished handle for her husband Joseph.
“What is it?” said Jesus.
“It’s for woodworking,” said Mary.
And Jesus smiled. “Daddy will love it!”
“Indeed he will,” said Mary. And indeed he did.
Years later Jesus was preaching to people about heaven and who can go there when somebody asked him, “What’s heaven like?”
“The kingdom of heaven is like when a woman lost a coin,” Jesus said. “She lit a lamp and swept out her house to search for it, and when she found it she went out rejoicing.”
“Does that mean the kingdom’s lost and we’ve got to find it?” someone asked. Someone else said, “Maybe it’s something precious and well worth looking for.” “Are we the coin or the woman?” “Or maybe God’s like the woman and he’s searching for us.”
Jesus smiled. “It’s all that and more,” he said and then he told them another story.
Thank you God for caring about mothers and fathers and families and children and lost coins.
Thank you for telling us all about your heavenly kingdom
and thank you for giving us a home there where we can live with you forever.