Henri Nouwen said...

Over and over again, I have left home.  I have fled the hands of blessing and ran off to faraway places searching for love!  This is the tragedy of my life and the lives of so many I meet on my journey.

Luke 15:20: 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.

To run away from God’s blessing is typically human.  We think we will be happier when we control our own lives.  In the process, we often land up in a foreign country, far away from God and our fellow human beings.  Our lives are degraded to slavery.

The parables of the lost sheep, lost coin and lost son emphasise that God cares about the least of things.  Who cares about one sheep out of one hundred?  What is one silver coin if you have nine left?  Who cares about an utterly useless son – a washout!  He deserves to be where he is. 

Who cares?  God cares!  The insignificance and relative value of the coin, sheep and useless son makes the love of the father shine even brighter.  We see in these three parables a searching person who does not stop searching until he finds one out of ten, one out of one hundred.  He gives his son a new robe, new shoes and a ring – all symbols of the restoration of a relationship.  His heart is full of joy when he recovers what was lost.   He organises a feast for us.

Maybe you feel today like someone who has lost his/her way.  Maybe you have wasted your life, but do not have the courage to return home.  You have dishonoured God’s name and you are a disgrace to yourself and everybody around you.  This parable says that there is a place in God’s heart for you.  When you return and lay against the chest of you father, you will feel his arms of love around you, and hear his heart beating with excitement.  You will hear the words, “Welcome home, my child.”

Prayer: Lord, thank you that you are welcoming me back home, in Jesus’ name.  Amen.