Saturday, March 6th, 2021
“I will leave this place and go to my father and say: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired men. So he left the place and went back to his father.
“While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran to the boy, clasped him in his arms and kissed him.”
— Luke 15:18-20
Hi friends— The devotional for today is about “returning.” The beautiful painting above, a “Rembrandt” painted in the 1660’s and Henri J. M. Nouwen says this about it, He (the father) seems to think only one thing: “He’s is back home, and I am so glad to have him with me again.”(1)
An interesting tidbit, I had picked the Rembrandt photo to use even before I read today’s devotional; I had only read the Bible verse. The Lord truly works in mysterious ways and works all things for good. *God Moves in a Mysterious Way” is a Christian hymn, written in 1773 by William Cowper from England. *See reference below
The message of the prodigal son is a message for all of us. The prodigal son’s return was out of fear that he would die of hunger, he knew his father’s servants had more to eat than he did. The son returned so that he would live and not die. But the father was elated in his son’s return. The father did not ask for an explanation or provide a lecture for the son’s behavior. No! The father greeted the son, kissed him and welcomed him home with total unconditional love.
Does this story resonate with you?
This is how God is with each of us. He welcomes us home again and again, no questions, no lectures, not anything…he’s thankful for our return with unconditional love. Whatever it is that draws us away from God, He will always welcome us home again. Some leave to follow their own desires, chase a dream only to find nothing but disappointments, others may chase fame or fortune only to end up broke and alone…not even these things can separate us from God’s love. There’s no excuse to make or price to pay when we run away from God, simply return to his love. “God is glad to see us home and wants to give us all we desire, just for being home.” (2)
Listen for the voice of Jesus, “I am your God, I have molded you with my own hands, and I love what I have made. I love you with a love that has no limits, because I love you as I am loved. Do not run away from me. Come back to me — not once, not twice, but always again. You are my child. How can you ever doubt that I will embrace you again, hold you against my breast, kiss you and let my hands run through your hair? I am your God— the God of mercy and compassion, the God of pardon and love, the God of tenderness and care. Please do not say that I have given up on you, that I cannot stand you anymore, that there is no way back. It is not true. I so much want you to be with me. I so much want you close to me.” (3)
Jeremiah 31:3, “Yahweh has appeared to me from afar; I have loved you with an everlasting love and so I still maintain my faithful love for you.” (NJB)
Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:
~ On The Move – Day 16
Be intentional about silencing your phone and radio when in the car alone. Instead, use that quiet time to talk to God.
~~~ Prayer ~~~
O Lord, my Lord,
help me to listen to your voice
and to decide for your mercy.
~~~ Amen ~~~
~Charlotte, the Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.
Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing
(1) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 59, paragraph 2.
(2) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 59, paragraph 1.
(3) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 59-60, paragraph 5, 1 respectively.
(NIV) New International Version Bible/Translation
(NRSVA) New Revised Standard Version Apocrypha
(NJBV) New Jerusalem Bible Version/Translation