‘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 15:22-24 NIV)
We all seem to love a great story where someone who used to profess to be a Christian comes back to church, turns their life around and gets their relationship with God back on track. Those are easy to cheer and applaud. We love these events because we get to see the redeeming Love of God in action right in front of our eyes; His Grace Unfolding.
But at what expense are we willing to participate in this Parade of Pardon? How much are ‘we’ willing to put on the line so that we get to watch the Mercy of God embrace those who were / are hurting, broken, and empty?
I ask that because when we look at this analogy that Jesus used (also called a parable), the father had two sons and divided the inheritance between them (to which the one son squandered it all away)… So you guessed it; all of the stuff the father used to celebrate the son’s homecoming… came from the other son’s inheritance! That was ‘his’ stuff!!!
The moment we think that what God has given us is for our sole benefit, we’ve lost the point of blessing. Inheritances are not earned, they are given. All that we inherit from the Father is not so that our lives can be now cushy and awesome, but that rather we have the resources available so that when the sons and daughters come back in distress to the Father we are ready and able to lead them back into a family who cares, accepts, and loves them.
The other son missed out on the party because he was having his own party… a pity party. May we always be out in the fields working our ‘inheritance’ with one eye on the work needing to still be done and the other scanning for the Father’s signal for us to come celebrate that another child has finally come Home.
At least that’s how I see it,