December 10, 2019

Luke 15:11-24; Matthew 23:37

Throughout Scripture, “father” was Jesus’ favorite name for God. When his disciples asked him to teach them to pray, Jesus modeled the voice and position they should take in prayer: a relationship with a loving father. The word “father” brings either wonderful memories or hurtful ones. At the end of the day, the truth is all earthly fathers are imperfect at best. God is the only perfect father. Overcome by the depth of this love, John exclaims, “How great is the love of God that we should be called children of God!”

Jesus demonstrates the perfect love of the Heavenly Father: he is unconditional love defined. To illustrate the clearest picture of God’s faithful, relentless, unconditional love, Jesus tells the Parable of the Prodigal Son. The father in Jesus’ story doesn’t hesitate to give the son his entire inheritance. The first hearers of Jesus' story knew that in asking for his inheritance, the son inferred he wished his father were dead. And after his son wastes his 401K and his annuity, does the father’s love stop? No, he watches the horizon for his son’s silhouette. When the father sees him, he RUNS, not walks, to take him in his arms. To top it off, tough love goes out the window as the father immediately restores the son to his position in the family. The father treats his son as if he never left.

Spend time in prayer thanking Jesus for showing “Father-love” to us. Imagine yourself talking to Jesus as you would a loving father. If you’re in the far country today, look up. The Heavenly Father waits for you.