“So he got up and went to his father.”But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” – Luke 15:20
This morning I heard a song on the radio as I was pulling into my parking space at work. It was about a man that had a message on his home phone that had been there for many years. The message was for his wayward daughter it case she called. It said something to the effect “what ever you have done, I love you, wherever you have been you can come home.” He hadn’t talked to her in many years but the song said she called and heard the message that she needed to hear.
A few minutes after hearing that song I arrived at my desk and the man next to me, who is the part-time pastor of a church, told me about a message he had just listened to from a family who had just lost a 14 year old daughter and were concerned that she was going to hell. He asked me what I thought he could tell them.
I told him about the song that I had just heard and that I think God has that message on his answering machine for all of us all of the time. That’s what Jesus came to tell us with his life and message. The prodigal son story says that clearly.
We were recently talking in Disciple 1 class about what it means to be made in the image of God. To me it means that we can love people the way God does, we don’t do that all the time, but we have the capacity when we are at our best; when we are most in touch with God. That song reflects the capacity to love as God does.
During the holiday season we all think about gathering, coming home, or remembering times when we did. Don’t miss the call of the gospel, the message from God, the reason for the season. We are welcome all the time, no matter what we have done and no matter where we have been. God loves you, and even me.
~ Rev. Dr. Scott