March 10, 2013, Fourth Sunday in Lent:
Luke 15:20 ““But while he (meaning the younger son) 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.”
Recall the younger son just left with his share of the wealth and never looked back. Recall that it was not until he, a Jew, was feeding a stranger’s pigs-which are ceremonially and religiously unclean animals to a Jew in the first place-even thinks of his father. The text says, in verse 17, “when he (the younger son) came to his senses…”
To be gazing in the direction the younger son had gone at all is to show amazing parental love, especially when the son in question lives his life despising his father and familial upbringing. This story has many layers, today let us wonder and ask: what is a parent to do with a child who does not respect him or her, reaches eagerly for the things of the world beyond his or her home and hearth? Perhaps some of us are familiar with this tension between parent and child, or perhaps child and parent. It might begin with something off-limits to our offspring originally which becomes all to alluring on a child’s journey to discover themselves as separate from his/her parent.
And yet, the father was gazing in the direction his son had gone, and saw him from afar. Then, when he does see his son returning home, he gets up and runs to him and kisses him. Let us pray.
O God, we are your prodigals, sons and daughters adopted by you through Christ our Saving One. Help us come to our senses, that we might turn back to you and journey home. Help us lift our eyes up and see you running toward us with your arms outstretched and tears in your eyes. Help us know we are yours. May all glory be unto the One who lived, died, and rose again for us, even Him who is the Christ.
Amen? May it be so.