Tuesday, April 12, 2016

An Outgoing God... a short reflection on Luke 15:28

Part of my devotion this morning was Luke 15:1-32... The parable of the Lost Sheep, the lost Coin and the lost (prodigal) son... Parables I love and are moved by all the time. AS I read them again today something new struck me... I don't think its revolutionary, its no deep secret code or anything... but it is something that helped me focus on the grace and the love of God. Much is made of the Father in the parable of the Prodigal Son, throwing off his dignity and running to embrace his son as he comes home. It moves me to think of God's reaching out to welcome repentant sinners home. It is a great illustration of the ministry of Jesus to sinners and tax collectors.

But today in v 28 I noticed something I hadn't really thought of before... When the elder son came home he refused to go in to the party, he was upset about what the younger son had done and how he was being welcomed back... it say that the father went out to him as well... he went to reason with him affirm his place in God's family and invite him to come and join the celebrations...

WE have an outgoing God who goes out to welcome us back home, from the lostness of sin and of joyless self righteousness. A god who goes out to embrace and to engage, to comfort and to confront both were acts of love, both to call us back to his family together.

Nicky Gumble in his One Year Bible comments says that we are left with a cliff hanger will the elder son come in and be reconciled with his father and his younger brother or walk away... That is the punchline of Jesus story to the pharisees and scribes who were concerned about Jesus spending too much time with sinners and tax collectors. It is a cliff hanger often for the Church as well...

Thank you Father God For being such an outgoing God.

see a prayer I worte for public worship based on this reflection.

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