A Place For Me from 'A Noble Work'
Today's Gospel story taken from Luke 15: 1-3, 11-32 about the prodigal son has firstly the tax collectors and sinners seeking the company of Jesus. Why were they? Here was someone at last who understood them and was speaking to their experience. He wasn't being precious or holier than thou like some of their own leaders but was prepared to mix with them and eat with them. They could smell authenticity and integrity. He treated them like the father in the story with tenderness and dignity. Isn't it comforting when someone understands what we are going through and treats us with respect?
Often we can treat people with a cold shoulder or the silent treatment if they have wronged us or if they don't live up to our expectations. All of us have chosen the wrong path at times whether it is through weakness or through being judgemental. Christ in the story of the prodigal son reveals to us a God who runs to meet us, who embraces us, who kisses, who affirms us, who is overjoyed in our return. There is no cold shoulder reception here.
The younger son in the story 'came to his senses' about the misery he was experiencing and that he could return to his father. There would have been a lot of pride no doubt and having to eat humble pie, but he put that aside and made the vital move. We read about the cold shoulder from his older brother not happy at all about his brother's return. Maybe we can see something of this reaction in us.
Have we come to our senses and realized the welcome being offered to us by God here and now? Nothing is beyond the loving embrace of God. It is often we that put up the obstacles. This can be our experience sometimes and you probably know of people that can't forgive themselves for the choices they have made.
God is the only one who can and will satisfy our hungers and longings however that plays out in our lives. He gives us the freedom like the younger son in the story to discover it for ourselves and sometimes it will mean learning the hard way. When all is said and done, God's voice is never condemning or accusatory but welcoming and forgiving. It's that voice we need to listen for.
Listen to A Place For Me from 'A Noble Work'.