This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Caleb Beller.
[Luke 15:20 NIV] 20 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.
The Fathers’ eyes had been fixed on the horizon with loving grace, anxiously waiting for any sign of the son’s return. One could only imagine the daily prayers as He sat hoping for any signs of life. When the moment miraculously came the Father breaks into a sprint not to condemn but to comfort.
So often it is the fear of rejection or anger that keeps the “lost” from coming back. This story illustrates the gracious heart of our heavenly Father. Like a “light-house” on a rocky shore, His love shows us the way safely home. The bible teaches us in [1Jo 1:9] “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
If all this is true why are so many prodigals still afraid to come home? In our story the Father is not the only one to respond. The elder brother is filled with bitterness and refuses to celebrate. The issue is not the anger over the prodigal’s sinful life, but his outrage for the Fathers gracious response. How many prodigals remain at large because the fear of the family is greater than the perceived love of the Father?
The elder’s brother’s resentment over the Fathers grace robbed him of his joy and undermined his own sense of security with the Father. May we this week model the love of the Father, praying and preparing for the return of the prodigal. May we rejoice with heaven over each sinner who repents and guard our hearts from bitterness at the Father’s gracious response.