Wednesday, March 20

Wednesday, March 20 

Scripture: Luke 15:20b-21

20 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. 21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’

Some thoughts:

     We may think of this story as a parable about the two sons, but these verses tell us it may be more about the boys’ father and his deep love for his children. The father is the God figure in the parable. Jesus is teaching the people and us about the nature of God’s great compassion and mercy. There is something here that is unique to all of Scripture. An action happens in this parable that does not happen anywhere else in the Bible. Read the above verses again and see if you can figure out what it is. Except for this parable, nowhere else in Scripture does God ever “run” after people. He does call people to come to him and as the Good Shepherd he goes after his lost sheep. In a patriarchal society it would be considered undignified for the father to run toward anyone.

     Jesus walked everywhere. He never ran to a situation, quite the contrary. Remember Lazarus, Mary, and Martha? When Jesus heard the news about Lazarus, he stayed two more days. God never runs after people. He is near to people. He loves people dearly. He is always ready to respond to people. But he does not force his way into people’s lives. He gives them freedom. But here is a beautiful picture of God’s love for the repentant person. The son had turned toward home and the father, filled with love, saw him and ran to him, put his arms around him and kissed him. Some commentators have surmised that perhaps the father went every day to watch and wait for his son’s return. The Savior is patient toward the lost.

     God is patiently waiting for us to turn around when we get on the wrong road. He does not impose his will on us. Have you thought how hard that must be for God? Think of your own children making terrible choices. How hard is it to not intervene and take over their life? The father is not pointing a boney-fingered condemnation of the son’s stupidity, but rather offers a warm embrace and expresses great joy in having the repentant son back home. The son doesn’t need to hear how foolish he was. He already knows it which is why he came home. The father even calls for a party and great celebration. Can you offer this kind of love to someone today? As you do, you are reflecting your Father’s heart.

Music: “The Love of God” Gaither Vocal Band

Prayer: Bring us, O Lord God, at the last awakening in to the house and gate of heaven, to enter into that gate and dwell in that house, where there shall be no darkness nor dazzling, but one equal light; no noise nor silence, but one equal music; no fears nor hopes, but an equal possession; no ends nor beginnings, but one equal eternity, in the habitations of thy majesty and thy glory, world without end.    —John Donne, 1571-1631