This weekend’s meditation was on Jesus’ parable of the “Prodigal Son.” Henri Nouwen speaks to our drifting away and returning to the Father that loves us over and over throughout our life just like the prodigal son returned to the loving father.
So often our focus is on the things our Father can give us rather than on God himself. The things of self interest such as money, power, and prestige can cause us to take our eyes off the Father and like the prodigal son wander into a foreign land.
The prodigal son was totally focused on the money he would get from his father and the good times it would buy. It was later after he had squandered his inheritance and was starving that he realized that what he really missed was the relationship he previously had with his father. His father had loved him, cared for him, and provided for his every need. The prodigal son was in crisis and needed his father to just stay alive. Thus, he decided to return home and humbly ask his father for a job lower than a slave.
The amazing thing about this story to me is that the father loved his son so much that he demonstrated his total forgiveness by embracing him with a hug and a kiss and gave him a robe of honor, a ring of authority, and the shoes of a son.
When I drift away from God, which is often, the picture of a loving Father waiting with open arms willing to forgive me no matter what I have done, or how many times I have done it, is overwhelming. I get incredible comfort in knowing my Father will forgive me and love me without limit.
Regardless of how far I drift away from the cross, Jesus is always there to show me the way home.