This year I dropped of my daughter Phoebe for her first day of high school.
And then something unexpected happened.
The crying part is not unusual for me.
But I didn't expect it in this case.
People kept asking me all summer, "Are you freaking out that your daughter is going to be in high school".
And the answer was no.
I was looking forward to it.
In fact, I love the fact that my kids are growing up.
They are more interesting to me all the time.
So I thought as we left the house that morning that all was going to be fine.
It would be no big deal.
Just another first day of school, like all the other first days.
I have been thinking about my reaction a lot.
I think what it was about for me was loss.
I was losing part of my daughter.
All the things that we had done up to that moment where gone.
She was not the little girl I once knew.
And even though on an intellectual level I knew this was all good.
I knew this is how life is, I still had to take a moment and mourn the loss.
And thinking about it this week in light of our Gospel for this morning I have come to understand that all of our lives are about loss.
Every day we lose something.
We lose moments that we will never get back.
We lose time.
We lose our age.
We lose who we were.
All of us have experienced this in our lives.
We have all lost things.
And when we lose those things we have to readjust.
And in losing those things we might even feel that we have lost a part of ourselves.
I was looking at the pictures on Facebook of people starting the new year.
Of kids that have grown.
Of parents who are rushing to keep up with the demands of life.
Of kids who are moving away.
And I realized that all of my friends and families are not the same.
Or at least we are not in the same part of our lives.
We used to be concerned with diapers, and middle of the night feedings.
And now we are concerned with homework, dating, driving kids from one place to the next.
And the truth is that in every phase there is loss.
When I had kids I had to lose parts of my life that I had when I single or without kids.
I remember one year, when my kids were little, my wife asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday I said I wanted to go to a movie because we haven't been in so long.
I got to see Kung-Fu Panda.
We had to leave before it was over because the kids wouldn't sit through the whole thing.
I have to let you know that in our congregation there are people dealing with some serious life things.
All of those things are about loss.
Death, illness, aging.
They all make us reexamine our lives and who we thought we were.
One person is going through a lot of stuff with family.
And they asked their spouse, "I hope I will be the same when all this is done."
And their spouse very wisely said, "Of course you won't be."
Life is about loss.
This would be a real depressing sermon if that is all there was to say.
The good news is that God is always looking for us.
Because of that we are never lost.
We never lose us, because we always belong to God.
In every phase of our lives while we are losing I ask you today to think about what is found.
What do you discover about yourself in the loss?
What truth is God unveiling to you?
How is the loss helping you grow in faith?
I am no longer the father of young kids.
That part of my life is lost.
And I didn't realize that I had to mourn it.
But now I am wondering what does it mean to be me in this time.
What ways will I have to rely on God now?
When my kids were young I used to pray that God would simply help me get through the day.
That I would learn how to be a better man so I could be a better father.
My prayers have changed.
I pray so much for them now.
I pray so much that they might know and understand how great they are.
I pray they will know how much God loves them.
Because that is the beauty of the parables that Jesus tells this morning.
How much God cares for us.
That God will leave everything, God will stop all the other work to search for us.
Think about what Jesus says God is willing to do.
God will light a lamp, sweep the house, search carefully.
And when God does find us God will rejoice and throw a party.
Think about how much we do to try and hide from ourselves.
How much we do to hide from God.
We put up such a good fight.
We put up all sorts of walls so that no one will know who we really are.
And the amazing thing is that all God wants from us is to be who we are.
Just be you.
Be out of sorts.
Ugly cry in the car after dropping off your daughter for high school.
Don't know the answer to why people you love die or get sick.
Don't know what to say to make it all better.
Because that is who God is really searching for.
Not the fake you who likes others to think you have it all together.
Not the person who says, "It is great. No problem. I am glad she is going to high school."
When people ask you about a major life change.
It is in the loss that we are found.
There in that place we discover over and over again who we really are, and what we really care about.
Life is about loss.
And that is why we gather here this morning.
We gather to mourn the loss, but more importantly to celebrate that we are found.
This week as you go about losing, know that God is lighting a lamb, sweeping the house, and searching carefully until you are found.