Lost and Found
by Helen Bryant (revised, originally published in 2012)
Suitable for Whole School (Sec)
To consider our feelings of relief when we find something important that we had lost.
Preparation and materials
- You will need a leader and two readers, who will need time to rehearse prior to the assembly.
- You will also need to be familiar with the Bible stories about the lost son (Luke 15.11–32) and the lost sheep (Luke 15.3–6).
Reader 1 (looking around, confused): I know I put it somewhere. The last time I saw it was last week, in my form room. (To the audience) Have you seen it? It’s my GCSE folder. I can’t find it anywhere! If I don’t find it, I’ve lost a whole year’s worth of work! And my teacher will kill me. (Freeze)
Leader: I wonder if this has ever been you? Have you ever lost something that’s really, really important? It doesn’t have to be a folder, it could be anything. An earring falls out, you mislay your coat, you can’t remember where you put your phone. Maybe you have a habit of losing pens or glasses.
Reader 1 (unfreezing): I’m so upset with myself. If only I’d been more organized - or less forgetful - maybe I would have remembered to pick it up.
Leader: Imagine, then, that the time goes by and you cannot find this folder, or the thing that you’ve lost.
How do you feel? Upset, frustrated, unhappy? Chances are that you may have to rewrite all the work that has been lost, or tell your parents that you’ve lost your glasses, or that you need a new coat.
You will have to accept that the thing that you once had is now lost, possibly forever.
Reader 2: Excuse me, is this your folder?
Reader 1: Yes! Where did you find it? Thank you so much - you’re a life-saver! I’m so happy! Brilliant! I’m not going to get into trouble now!
Leader: The lost thing is found, and we feel elation, relief – all kinds of emotions. We fully appreciate the thing that we thought had gone for good.
I know exactly what this feels like. (Illustrate with a personal story, or use the following.)
Recently, I lost my clarinet. Not too bad, you might think, but this is the clarinet that my parents bought me when I was 12. It’s the only clarinet I’ve ever known. It has played in orchestras, bands, carol services, prize-givings and music exams. It’s something that connects me with my 12-year-old self.
The fact that I had lost it was devastating. I was also worried about telling my parents. Odd, I guess, at my age, to be worried about telling my parents something like that, but I know that when they bought it for me, money was tight and I couldn’t bear the thought that they might think I hadn’t looked after it.
When it was returned to me, I hugged it like a long-lost friend. I’ve vowed to make sure that I take better care of it in future.
Time for reflection
My elation on being reunited with the thing that I’d lost got me thinking about a parable that Jesus told. It talks about the sense of loss that a father feels when his son leaves home, and the father’s delight when his son returns. That, in turn, got me thinking about Jesus’ other parables about the sadness of losing something and the joy of finding it again.
In the parable about the lost sheep, the shepherd leaves his 99 sheep safe in the sheepfold and goes out to look for the one sheep that’s lost. When it’s found, the shepherd rejoices.
Jesus uses these parables to show how happy God the Father is when someone returns to him.
Christians believe that when we turn away from what God wants us to do and do things that are wrong, we’re ‘lost’ to God and his ways. When we choose to return and ask for forgiveness, it’s like being found again.
‘I see the light’ from the film Tangled, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYbHzzWmKUs (3.44 minutes long)
‘The lost are found’ by Hillsong Worship, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywdaLbIjGaQ (8.02 minutes long)