Plot Twist: Week 10 - Day 3

Opening Prayer:

Dear Lord, let me receive and embody the message in your word today. In your son’s name, Amen.

 

Read: Luke 15:20, NIV

“So, he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”

 

Reflect:

As the lost younger son approaches, his father breaks the social norms of the day, hikes up his robes, and runs out to greet his dear son. This is symbolic of our creator who, when we deviate from the path, doesn’t stay far off grumbling about what a mess we’ve made but rather rushes in to lavish us with grace.

 Traditionally, it would have been expected that the elder brother would have left home and retrieved the younger brother from his dire situation. In this story, we see that he didn’t. We eventually read that the elder brother is angry that his father has welcomed the younger brother home with open arms. He rattles out a list of his moralistic behavior that, he feels, should secure him the right to an opinion in how the matter is handled.

 If we have accepted the call of Christ, we are expected to love and pursue those that are hurting because of alienation from God. If our attitude is that of an elder brother, self-righteous and indignant, we can’t fulfill that call. This parable is a plea to recognize that we all are in need of the same gracious forgiveness and, therefore, none of us is better than another.

 

Apply:

Spend some time today reflecting on those you know that are far from God. You don’t need to make a step by step plan on how to lead them to salvation. We’re simply asked to love others as Christ has loved us (John 15:12). Reach out to that person. Ask how they’re doing. Set a date to meet them and listen as they talk about life. Let the loving light in you shine on those around you.

 

 Closing Prayer:

God, fill my heart with patience and love for those far from you. Let my posture be one not of defensiveness but acceptance and grace. Amen.

Terry Schneider