One Way Home, we can either run from God with our obedience or our disobedience but the news of Jesus says that the way home is through God's grace and compassion.
This week, Sarah Almodovar shares her thoughts and reflections on Sunday's message.
The prodigal son, to me, is one of those parables you can hear again and again and still learn something every time. There is always some nugget of truth to be extracted, and so today I'll share some of those "nuggets" the Lord revealed to me this past Sunday:
1. We all run from God. The first son ran (clearly, physically--he usually gets the spotlight in this story), but the second son ran in his own way. The second son ran emotionally, distancing himself from his father in a way we often distance ourselves from God.
2. We make demands of God. The son who stayed home had allowed bitterness and entitlement to take root in his heart. He acted out of a Pharisaical mindset, that he could perform certain tasks or behaviors and in turn earn his father's good fortune. We reflect similar expectations of God, thinking to ourselves, "If I can be a good person and do the right thing, then I can demand of God that he answers my prayer." This is something none of us would be quick to admit, but all of us tend to do this in some way.
3. God owes us nothing [good]. Let's pretend for a minute that we could make demands of God and then consider the implications of this. If we are entitled to keep track of our good deeds so that God might reward us, is he not then entitled to keep track of our every wrongdoing so that he might punish us?
4. God gave us Jesus. Jesus died on our behalf, because God knows our every wrongdoing, and there had to be a punishment for the sin. And although we often submit again and again to a yoke of slavery (see Galatians 5), acting from our flesh and not in newness of the Spirit, God will not condemn us in the end. Thank God we have Jesus, who is daily standing at the right hand of God, acting as our advocate to show him his nail-pierced hands, which prove the sacrifice has been made, once and for all. And because of this, as much as we run, as much as we make demands, even as we sin again and again, we are forgiven. Thank you, Lord, for this unending hope!