Saturday, March 15, 2008

The God Who Runs...Part 3

I had one more insight recently about my exploration of times & situations in which God moves fast, and we (by implication) are called forth to keep pace with him.

It's in the famous story Jesus told about the prodigal son, which I had referenced before by pointing to the fact that the father (God) ran to embrace the prodigal upon his return home. But there is another little word in there that I think speaks volumes about God's heart toward us.

When the prodigal returns, he starts spouting off this speech he had been practicing about how stupid he was to have left, how he didn't deserve to be called a son anymore, and would the father please just take him back as a servant, blah blah blah... But the father doesn't care to hear his grand apology. He interrupts the son in mid speech and says to his own servants, "Quickly, bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate..." (Luke 15:22-23, emphasis mine).

This speaks volumes to me about God's fierce passion, not merely to forgive us, but to restore us to our true identity. In essence, he wants us to know and experience who we really are...and he wants everyone around us to know it too. Through the father's actions toward his wayward son, he's basically saying to his son, "Enough of the groveling! Throw off these old rags and take your place as the true son you are." And then to the others present, his actions seem to me to be saying, "See this robe? See this ring? Pay attention and take note--this is my son, and you will all treat him with the honor due his true name."

Makes me wonder what "old rags" I stubbornly cling to at times, even as God is telling me to shutup, put on the robes of my true self, and celebrate with him.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome comment Michael. Have you read the book by Henry Nouwen on Rembrandt's painting "The Return of the Prodigal Son"? He writes "God is standing there with open arms, waiting to embrace me. He won't ask any questions about my past. Just having me back is all he desires." :)
Blessings! C.