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The Forgiving Father

I was recently surprised to hear our scripture for this week, the beloved story of the prodigal son, described instead as the story of the forgiving father. How would you describe it? The story of the spoiled kid who wasted his inheritance? His father who continued to spoil him when he returned? His loyal brother who was taken for granted? We tend to err on the side of judgment: how we feel about the arrogant son, angry brother, or overindulging father.

How does the story turn for you when you err on the side of grace? The story of the misguided son who repents? His father who forgives and welcomes him back? His brother who obeys and is steadfast? That feels much better, although there’s still a nagging unfairness about the whole thing.

And thank God that life isn’t fair! I think most of us at some point have been forgiven for doing something wrong, or blessed when we feel unworthy. I believe this is Jesus’ point with his parable: everyone is worthy of grace and forgiveness. God rejoices over the one lamb that was lost and is found, and the wandering son returned. It’s all about love, and abounding mercy. Look at life with grace this week — you will be amazed at how judgment seems unimportant, and mercy lifts your spirit.

In Christ’s love,
Heather Lewis
Director of Music and Worship

Tags: Weekly Word