We are always preaching to the lost. Even those who insist they are among the saved are just as lost as they can be. Not lost to God, as if that were ever possible, but they don't know where life is going. Maybe when they were young they had a clear sense of purpose and direction, but one of the great marks of maturity is to realize that we are all just wandering around through life.
Perhaps the best metaphor for the life of faith is found in the biblical story of the exodus. As the Hebrews passed through the Red Sea, so we pass through the waters of baptism to begin our journey to the promised land. But before any of us arrive, we spend much time in the wilderness where we discover that our parched souls are actually thirsting for God.
It is easy to get lost in the wilderness. Some who sit in the pews are lost in great crises. Others are lost in fleeting moments of happiness that will not endure. Most are lost in the overwhelming ordinariness of life.
This is where the preacher enters. We ...1