In the parable of the prodigal son, the younger son goes off and wastes his inheritance on bad things and the older son stays behind, thinking that's what he was supposed to do. While most can relate to one of the sons, it's interesting to think that we should be striving to be more like the father. Upon the return of the younger son, the father not only embraces him but celebrates that which was once lost.
Three important points I took away from this story and trip:
- The heart of the father is to bless. Not to cast judgment or love someone any less because of mistakes that were made. Even when the son returned, he embraced him with love. This is something I've come to embrace after being in an unfamiliar area for over a month. To love unconditionally and continuing to bless, love and embrace no matter what...that's what we're all about.
- The father takes the initiative. In this story along with the parable of the lost sheep and coin, the image of the father is always seen as an initiator. He pursues with a love that's so unique and all he wants is for us to return to him. And even if it's just one small coin, after finding it, joy fills the place. Newsong is so good at this idea of going after the lost and the broken and in Bangkok I had the privilege to be apart of it. Our agenda is not to convert, but to love first and allow God's spirit to intervene in their lives.
- The Father offers a unique kind of love. God's love is so great and unique. It's a love that cannot force, constrain, push or pull, but instead, a love that needs to be freely received just as it's freely given.
Striving to be like the father isn't easy but it's a great mindset to have. The heart of the father is to bless, nothing more and nothing more and nothing less.