Lost and found
FROM THE STANDS - Domini M. Torrevillas (The Philippine Star) - April 2, 2019 - 12:00am

The women of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines of Gingoog City closed Women’s Month last Sunday with the edifying meditation of the woman pastor, Lisa Cabio Yaez.

Luke 15 has three parables – one on the lost sheep, the second, on the lost coin, and the lost son. Jesus used parables as illustrations which use a story to shed light on a spiritual truth, Lisa said. The parables were given in response to the Pharisees’ criticism of His associating with sinners. Jesus, said Lisa, offered the parables “to reveal His commitment to saving the lost, and His love for them.”

Lisa focused on the parable of the lost coin to reveal the reality of the women’s situation.

Jesus told of the woman who had ten pieces of silver. In the olden times, the women strung the coins into their headdress. Each coin equalled a day’s wages, thus signifying security and brought them glory. If a woman was unfaithful, one of the coins would be removed from her declaring her adultery. The more sins she committed the more coins were torn away from the headdress. Imagine how the woman in the parable went into a panic when she realized one of her coins was gone. She had committed no wrong, no one would think she had not. That meant her honor and dignity would be gone. That she still had nine coins left was of no value at the moment. Find that lost coin she must. She lit a lamp and carefully swept away the dirt in every inch and corner of the room. She swept and swept, did not give up, and lo and behold, she found the coin. She was delighted, her recovering the coin was reason for celebration, and she called her friends and neighbors to come and rejoice with her.

The parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son had a common denominator, said Lisa. Each focused on someone or something having been lost, there was action on the part of the owner of the lost object, there was eventual repentance and return of the lost object, and each emphasized the jubilant response to the repentance of the sinner. (The joyful shepherd had gone out of his way to seek one lost sheep in a herd of 100; the father welcomed back a repentant wayward son.)

In the parables, Jesus said, “Jesus teaches a most powerful lesson concerning how God feels about sinners and how we also should respond to those who sin (including ourselves). Sinners in this context, Lisa said, refers to anyone who fails to reach God’s standard. A sinner is one who continues to ”miss the mark.” The scriptures emphatically declare that “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Lisa’s meditation gives three lessons:

1) “Jesus came and lived to give us light. All of us know what it’s like to have lost something. We understand the frustration and torment that comes from knowing that something of value is misplaced, and not knowing where to find it. Sometimes the lost things are lost keys, lost wallets, lost money.

It does help to have light when you are looking for something. “Before Jesus finds us we are lost in the darkness of sin. Jesus came into this world to provide the light of truth. In John 8:12, Jesus said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

2) Jesus died to sweep out our dirt. “The lost coin was somewhere on the floor and the best way to find it was to take a broom and sweep up all the dirt. In the process of cleaning every inch of the floor, the woman found the coin. There’s a great lesson here as well. In addition to giving us light, Jesus desires to cleanse our lives of all the dirt and filth accumulated there. He died on the cross so our sins could be forgiven. In 1 John 1:7 we read, “And the blood of Jesus, his son, purifies us from all sin.”

3) The joy of salvation. “Heaven rejoices over a changed life. We should celebrate what heaven celebrates! Because there is joy in the presence of angels when one sinner repents, there should be joy among believers when a person repents. Just like the coin, we have great value. Value is determined by what someone is willing to give in exchange. God revealed the great value He places on our souls when Jesus said, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Our life has value, but as long as we are lost, it’s wasted value. The coin could have been used for something great… but as long as it was lost, it could do nothing. 

“You and I have great value and untapped potential, but as long as we are lost, it’s wasted value and untapped potential.”

In conclusion, Lisa asked, “What is it in life that really gets you excited? Take a moment now to reflect on your life, and ask yourself how much of it has been wasted. Ask yourself how much energy and effort you’ve expended on a lifestyle that takes you further and further away from God.”

* * *

For almost four decades, the Philippine Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (PRID) has been responsible for teaching, training, and developing excellent and highly skilled interpreters that provide quality sign language interpreting services for the deaf. It offers Basic, Intermediate, and four advance levels of sign language classes that deal with signs for different working environments and settings. This approach enables its students to sufficiently handle the interpreting needs for general everyday setting for the school, religious occasions and events, medical purposes as well as for legal proceedings.

The PRID is in the thrust of revitalizing its program to better serve the hearing impaired members of society. Aware of the reality of the scarcity of interpreters in court settings especially in the provinces, PRID is reaching out by identifying and intensively train, review, update, and discuss relevant issues in court interpreting through a specialization course.

Through a selection process, some provinces had been identified as initial key areas to host specially trained court interpreters to be accredited as legal interpreters in the region.

The first phase of the “Specialization Program to Prepare Sign Language Interpreters for Effective Participation As Court Interpreters “will be conducted on April 6 – 10 to be held at the Philippine School for the Deaf Conference Room, 2620 F.B. Harrison St. Pasay City. Participants will be coming from Metro Manila, Zamboanga, La Union, Pampanga, Zambales, Pagadian, Agusan del Norte, Davao, Bacolod, Laguna and South Cotabato. Succeeding phases will be similarly conducted in different regions before the end of the year.

The PRID is looking forward to an active and meaningful partnership with its trained interpreters in a continuing program to provide court interpreting services and a caring society to our deaf colleagues.

* * *

Email: dominitorrevillas@gmail.com

 

WOMEN’S MONTH
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