I've been deep in one of the greatest stories Jesus told in preparation for our 'Touching the Father's Heart' event this weekend. The story of the Father's love in Luke 15 is so richly layered & never fails to speak meaning into our lives.
Here are some thoughts that will probably feature in the first session regarding the two sons - The one, painfully aware that he has put himself out of his Father’s house, out of his Father’s love, out of his natural & rightful inheritance.
The other, painfully unaware that his years of self righteous hard work,duty & faithfulness, obedience, weren’t enough to bring him near to his Father. His desire to impress & earn approval hardening his own heart, missing the point & keeping him as far away from home as his younger brother even though he never left .
These two sons are types we fall into. Painfully aware or painfully unaware. Either way, missing the knowledge & nearness of the Father’s love & acceptance in the way that He has always intended for us. The Father’s heart for us today sends out the same message.
To those of us who are aware how far we are from Him – He comes out to meet us. He has been searching, waiting. He makes no judgement, He simply accepts, overwhelms us with love we don’t deserve & didn’t expect. There isn’t even a trial period – we are brought all the way back, into His very heart. His robe, His ring, His feast. The message – We belong, we are His, He is thrilled. We aren’t lost after all, He has found us.
To those of us who are unaware how far we are from Him – He comes out to meet us. He comes to find us as we look on disapprovingly. He comes to plead with us that all He has ever wanted is for me to sit & eat with Him. The message - He comes to remind us that all He has is already ours, that we don’t have to work or earn His approval, that we can can simply rest, rejoice, enjoy. We have been lost in a familiar place, but He has still come & found us.
Wherever you find yourself in this story Jesus told, the implication is clear – the Father wants you to be found & known. He gives us an open invitation to the kind of intimacy that we were made for. He has sent Jesus to lead us in to a new & living way, a whole new level of love & acceptance, a whole new way of relating to Father God. Touching the Father’s heart is all about us finding the way in, allowing Him to lead us home.