Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again;he was lost, and has been found.
The famous prodigal son story. Many of us have heard it a hundred times in our lives. We’ve heard sermons preached on it, then more sermons, and more sermons. Yet, it is a story that will continue to be told over and over because the message is so simple and yet so hard to actualize.
It doesn’t matter which son you relate to in this story. Whether you have been the son who left home to spend his inheritance on wild living, realized the error of his ways and returned home, or the son who stayed at home and did the responsible things, yet was bitter and judgmental towards those that didn’t follow his path; the message is the same. It’s about the Father, waiting for both of his sons to come back to him – one physically and one spiritually. Reconciliation was what the Father was celebrating; for love expands exponentially when relationships are reconciled – especially our relationship with our loving God. No matter what your our daily life looks like, we all stray from the love of God and need to seek forgiveness and reconciliation. And the best part…..God is waiting for us with open arms.
God celebrates when we finally come to realize our faults and seek forgiveness. God is thrilled to relieve us of our burdens, wrap us in tender-loving arms, and dance with joy over our return. God wants us to live with joy, live with an internal peace, live without fear, live in trust of unconditional love for us. Our path in life is full of curves – joys and sorrows, known and unknowns, successes and failures. God wants to be with us through all of this. God wants to walk with us – and will celebrate when we seek that as well.
Today, let’s live in complete trust that God is hoping for and waiting for our return. Let’s live in the belief that “the splendor of a human heart which trusts that it is loved gives God more pleasure than Westminster Cathedral, the Sistine Chapel, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, the sight of ten thousand butterflies in flight, or the scent of a million orchids in bloom.” (Brennan Manning)