Most of us will know this familiar Bible story. A son gets fed up with home life, demands his inheritance, leaves home, spends it very unwisely then, humbled, heads home to dad... only for his dad to forgive everything and restore him to the family again. Great. We are often told we can identify with the son, the Father being God.
That's not wrong, but what if God wants us to be the father too? When the father hitches up his robe and starts running, it's not just because he's well excited to see his son. The elders of the village were planning to shame him in a ceremony in front of the whole village, which would then mean that he was effectively an outcast forever. But his father got there first, and forgave him before they could. The father ran because he knew that he had to get to his son with love and grace before the villagers could get there with the law and accompanying punishment.
Which is exactly what God did for us, in sending Jesus. So here's our question: Are we being 'Dads' to those around us? Is there someone you know on their way Home, that you can meet halfway, to love them before they can be judged by those around (maybe other friends, family members?). How can we be the fathers to the sons around us?
So what now? Rather than waiting for someone to ask to come to church, try to ask one of your mates who seems interested - meeting them halfway.
Soulfood : Gen 28:1 - 30:24, John 14:1-14, Ps 130, Prov 31:28-31