Thursday, May 13, 2010

Prodigal Son-Part 3

The story of the grace-filled father...
"The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.  "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.  Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate.  For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate."  Luke 15:21-24 NIV

I think I have a harder time relating to the father than other character in this story.  He is kind of a hard one to crack.  I guess maybe because I am a woman, I want to know what he was thinking when he first saw his son running towards him.  I am sure he was excited, but did any emotions flood back to him, anything like anger, frustration, disappointment.  This part of the story is so simple yet so complicated.  To me it seems like the father was truly just filled with joy and so happy to have his son back home.  I did a paper on this passage in college and when I was doing research on it, I remember reading that back in Bible times people did not run.  Like this was a huge deal for the dad to get up and run.  Especially people with money, status, you name it, they weren't running anywhere.  They paid people to run, but not this guy, he did the running himself.

I haven't experienced a rebellious child or a child who has broken my heart, but I have seen firsthand the pain that results in those poor choices made by the child.  So it's really easy for me to sit back and tell the parents where they went wrong, or what they should do to the next time the child comes back around.  But who am I to judge or really give any sort of advice on this. 

All I can hope and pray is that I always react the way the father did in this parable.  Whether it be my child who ran away, or a friend, or a church member.  I would love to picture myself just running to them, and embracing them with reckless abandonment and with lots of love.  To forget about the past emotions and just love in the moment.

The father in this story is what I am striving to be like.  Someone who still follows the rules (yes!) but also someone who does it with a genuine heart, not looking to be paid back in full for it.  Also, someone who loves continuously, with no conditions, and no strings attached.  Especially in ministry, people unintentionally and sometimes intentionally hurt you or your family.  It's often hard to look the other way and not want to give them a piece of your mind.  But most of the time it's better to just shut-up and pray for them.  Something I am not always good at.  But I am trying to get better at.

So here is my encouragement to you, run to someone who needs ran to, and love them, throw your arms around them and just love.
"But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found." Luke 15:32  

1 comment:

Kristen said...

My husband did a sermon once about the Father being a Type of God. It is still one of my favorite sermons of his. This is great. :)