Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Lost Son

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Imagine this with me.
An old man, sitting on his front porch. Wrinkles cover his face and hands-stories only he can tell. Servants are hustling and bustling around them, but he pays them no mind. He simply sits in his rocker, and watches. His eyes stare blankly into the distance, but no one can really know what He is looking at, what is reeling in his mind.

He sits up suddenly, a twinkle in his eye. The servants turn, and see what he is looking at. There is a man in the distance. "I know that walk-is it him? Is that my boy?"

The man in the distance is filled with shame. He is about to face a man he didn't expect to face. He asked for his inheritance, basically saying, "Father, you mean nothing to me, all I want from you is your money." He has nothing to show for what he's done, he has nothing. Instead of going out and doing something great with the money he received, he squandered it. All he wants is forgiveness.

The man on the porch leaps to his feet. "That's my boy!" he yells out. He runs to his son, and throws his arms around him. Before the son is even able to say his apologies, his father kisses him and holds him. The son finally chokes out, "I'm sorry. I am not worthy. I'm sorry." The Father shushes him, "Prepare the finest meal we have!" He gives him the family ring. "You were dead, and now you are alive. Let us celebrate."

Now you can imagine how the servants and other brother are feeling. "You should punish him, for what he has done," I imagine them saying. But he simply shoos them away, and continues on.
There is no love greater than this.
Before the son choked out his apologies, the father has forgiven him. Before the son has had a chance to change himself, the father prepares a feast for him.
When I think of God, this is what I want to think of. I want to think of that old man on the porch, waiting for my return. I want to think of the leap he takes off the porch, as he runs to me and kisses me.
God is a God of mercy.
God is a God of forgiveness.
God is a God of love.
And I know that when I came walking back towards Him, He did nothing but grab me, and kiss me, and prepare a feast for me.
Because now, I am alive.
Now, I am found.

20So he got up and went to his father.
"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21"The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
22"But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. 24For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.

-Luke 15:20-24

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