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 well-known parable tells the story about a lost son and a loving father. Yesterday we focused on the prodigal; today we'll see the great love of the father.
His son's words were cutting; his calculated actions were cold. He left with a bag full of money and a heart full of bitterness. The father's heart was broken as the door slammed shut and his son headed to a distant country. He knew that the money he had worked all his life to earn would soon be gone. He knew that the son he loved might not ever return. But he waited.
Every day, the father watched the road that led home. Every day he prayed to see his son return. Each day he watched and waited ... then the next day he watched and waited again. Finally, it happened! He saw his son! And while the son was a long way off, the father broke out into a full sprint and ran to his son. He met him, threw his arms around him, lifted him in the air and twirled around, kissing him all the while. When the son began his repentant plea to become a servant, the father gently put his hand to the young man's mouth to stop such talk. He forgave him on the spot, reinstated him as his son, and restored him to full privileges.
And that is exactly what our loving Father does for us. He waits with open arms for all repentant sinners to come home. His heart is filled with compassion as He welcomes us back with wide open arms of grace. Today the gracious and loving Father is waiting for you. It's time to come home.
Father, thank You for loving the unlovely. Thank You for grace to the undeserving. Thank You for open arms of forgiveness. Thank You for restoration. Thank You for bringing us back home. In Jesus' name. Amen.