Thought of the Day July 24, 2018 True Father

By 10:44 AM

The father of the prodigal loves his son; he never stopped loving him. He longs for the day he will see his son again. He looks for him daily. His prayers go out to him. “Son, return home. I love you.”  God waits for us with a greater longing and passionate love. He sends his grace upon us to draw us home. But he waits for us to choose to come home and to be reunited with him in a father-son, father-daughter relationship of love.  When he sees his son at a distance, the foolish father runs to him, praising God, crying, waving his hands. He embraces him tenderly in his arms and kisses him profusely on his cheeks and  head. Jesus is saying that his Father reacts the same way when one of us returns to him after we ran away because of sin.

But something is wrong with this picture. The Father is so joyful and the son is cold and unresponsive to the Father. He can’t even look at the father eye to eye. He can’t embrace the father and kiss him on the cheeks. He is almost lifeless in the father’s embrace. There is something he is holding on to, something that prevents him from experiencing the healing love and freeing mercy, the unconditional acceptance of the father. He feels so full of self-condemning guilt and shame; he feels  so totally unworthy. “Don’t father. I don’t deserve this. I have sinned against God and you. I am a loser. You don’t know what I have done and how low I have fallen; you don’t know how abused I have been by others who used me for their pleasure as I used them. I have lost my right to being your son. May I be a hired hand who at least can get something to eat and a place to sleep?”

The father won’t hear any of this non-sense. “I don’t care what others think or do. You are my son. You were dead but now you live. You were lost but now you are found. Let’s celebrate and rejoice. Here are the symbols of your sonship: the robes, the ring, the shoes, the status of son.

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