“It’s Such a Long Walk Home”
What’s the hardest thing to say to someone you have hurt, wronged, and ignored. The three hardest words that will save your marriage: “I was wrong.” The words that might save your family: “I was wrong.” The words that might save your job, “I was wrong.” Need I go on? Admission of responsibility for our mess is the beginning of the clean-up.
The son launched into his speech, but the father once again does the unexpected. He doesn’t even listen to it. The father has his child back and that’s enough. “Put a ring on his finger, and a robe on his back.” The kingdom of God is like this. The welcome overwhelms the problem that caused the separation. People who lose sheep are pretty happy when they find them. But Jesus said, “There will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Chew on that a bit and you come to the truth that the so-called righteous people probably need to repent too, they just won’t. Only the lost cry out to be found.
It was a long walk home for the son, he was in the “far country.” The loving father didn’t make him give his whole speech. The joy of heaven is …you don’t get to make your whole speech either, God cuts to the end and says, “Come in my child.”
PRAYER: Many seem to think you are a god of rules and grinding us ever so fine in judgment, but as a God who sees the heart, you don’t have to do that, you know what’s going on in us. This is not cheap grace, it cost your son’s life, but it is a joyful welcome into your presence and we thank you for it. Amen.