You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.
Today we want to tell you a story…perhaps one of the greatest illustrations of love that was ever written and it comes out of Luke 15.
There were two sons and one day the younger son asked his father for his share of the inheritance. The father gave it to him and the son set off to a distant country and eventually he foolishly squandered all that his father had given him. A severe famine came to the land and he found himself in desperate need, so he hired himself out to a citizen feeding pigs. He was so hungry that he longed to eat scraps out of the pig slop. At this point he hit the lowest of lows.
When he came to his senses he thought about his father’s house…the home he chose to leave behind. He decided that he would set out and go back, beg for forgiveness and ask to be a servant, not a son, but a servant.
But while he was still a ways away his father saw him and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son and threw his arms around him. The boy started the speech that he had recited over and over in his head but his father would hear none of it and immediately said to his servants, “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. (verses 11-24)
The father in this story gave the perfect picture of God’s love for his children. It doesn’t matter how far we have run, where we have been or what we have done, we are only one decision away from turning around to come home. Christmas is the best time to open our hearts and receive the perfect gift of love, a love full of forgiveness and compassion, a love that immediately embraces us and holds us close when we come to him. A love that calls us child.