March 26 Luke 15:11-32
There are a number of different themes running throughout this popular parable of Jesus: forgiveness, envy, self-worth, mercy, family dynamics, the Kingdom of God, etc. We might even call it an allegory. Yet, I would like to focus on one particular section of the passage here. After the son who had squandered his wealth had come to his senses and decided to return home, the scripture reads:
“So 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.”
I think it is clear from the implications in the parable that the father had knowledge of what the son had done with his inheritance. He was aware of the shame the son had caused him. And yet, it’s as if he waits on his front porch staring at the horizon, waiting for his son to appear in the distance.
If we pay attention to the father’s reaction, we can get a pretty good idea of how God feels about us. Even when we are careless with what God entrusts to us—whether spiritual or tangible—then God is waiting for our arrival when we are ready to return, watching for us to appear over the horizon.
When the world tells us that we are no good, that we haven’t done anything to earn God’s trust, God is there waiting for us, saying: “Yes, you are a sinner. Now come, sinner that you are, to the God who loves you. I want you as you are. I want nothing from you—no sacrifice, no work. I want you alone.”
God, help me to live today knowing in the deepest part of who I am that you love me.