March 15, 2013

Lenten Journey: The Father

"He said to him, 'My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours.  But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.'"
- Luke 15:31-32 

For Reflection...

Here is the father's last word, his bottom line:  I love you, and I love you.  That is all there is.  No rebuke to the younger.  No rebuff to the elder.  Both are given everything.  Both are called to celebrate and rejoice.  Both, both, are called to life, to be found.

This, finally, is what God is doing in me.  God rejects nothing.  God redeems and reconciles all.  There is nothing in me that is so dead that God cannot resurrect it, nothing so lost that God cannot restore it.

I am the elder brother, and God will take my resentment and turn it to acceptance, my self-righteousness and make of it humility, and my stubbornness God will soften into receptivity.

I am the younger brother, and God will take my thoughtlessness and turn it to compassion, my selfishness and make of it a willingness to serve, and my self-will God will soften into trust.

The father holds out faith that the younger son will return, hope that the elder will come to the feast, and love  for them both, not after they fulfill his will for them, but before and ever and always (Romans 5:8).

It is not a story of a prodigal son, but of a prodigal father.  He is a father whose generosity, whose gift of freedom, whose love is prodigal, "a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, ...poured into your lap" (Luke 6:38).

For Entering In...

If you are reading this, our prodigal Father has called you and desires for you to know he has given you everything.  Become aware that you stand now and always in the presence of that God.

Reflect on these questions:
  • Take three minutes to watch this video, then answer this question:  Do you believe that God loves you?
  • What in you have you despaired of ever seeing transformed?  Give it to God, today.  This isn't about trying to fix yourself or even having any idea of how your life could be different.  Simply open your heart to the possibility that nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37). 
  • What would it look like for you to come in to the celebration today?  What do you need to step through or around in order to feast on the fatted calf?  The door is open.  The Father is waiting.  The party is for you.  What is one thing you can do to say, yes, to your invitation to the feast?
  • List all of the things that you feel have been poured into your life from the fount of love.  Write a prayer of thanksgiving and rejoicing.
  • If you haven't already, watch this video.  Really.  If you watched it once, watch it again.  God loves you.
Carry with you into the rest of your day the sure knowledge that a celebration more wonderful than the most resplendent feast you can imagine is being prepared for you.  That is how much you are loved.  Bask in the glow of your belovedness.

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