In the late 1600’s, monks living at a hospice in the Great St. Bernard Pass in the Swiss Alps acquired dogs to be used as watchdogs and companions. These dogs, descendants of the Asiatic dogs that had been brought over by the Romans, were the very large breed of dogs we now know as St. Bernards. Because of their keen sense of smell and their ability to find people who had become buried deep in snow, these dogs became famous for seeking and saving those who were lost. In fact, over a period of about 200 years, these heroic search and rescue dogs saved about 2,000 people, including lost children.
When sin entered the world because of man’s disobedience to God, mankind became God’s lost children. But God’s love for His children is so great that He put together His own plan for seeking and saving them. God’s search and rescue mission came through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, who was sent into this world to seek and to save all who are lost (Luke 19:10). Unlike the rescue mission of the dogs of the Great St. Bernard Pass, which ended in the early 1800’s Jesus’ rescue mission will go on until the end of the age when Jesus returns to rule on earth.
God’s desire is that not one of His children will remain lost. Each time that someone gives his or her life to Christ, each time one who was lost is found, God rejoices along with all of heaven (Luke 15:7,10). For this reason, Jesus commissioned all believers to be members of His search and rescue team (Matthew 28:18-19). Those of us who were lost and have been found are to spread the good news of Jesus Christ throughout the world, so that others who are still lost will be found and brought back to the loving arms of our heavenly Father.