Wednesday after Reminiscere
Scripture: St. Luke 15:11-32 (NKJV)
11 Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. 13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. 14 But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. 15 Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. 17 But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”‘ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry. 25 Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’ 28 But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.'”
The real core of God’s being, the real center of His heart is what we see here in this parable. The father in this parable represents God, and so we see how God really acts. It says the father gave the son food and clothing and celebrated, and most of all, made him his son again. The father didn’t care what the son had done. He didn’t care about all the sordid details, the humiliating and pathetic things the son had done. I’m sure that the father didn’t even want to hear about them, not that he wouldn’t if the son needed to confess each one of them, but that the father did not see it as necessary.
The son whom he had loved had come back to him. All was forgiven. The father would never bring it up again. As far as he was concerned, that person who went off and lived that sinful life was another person.
And this is really the way God feels about us when we come to Him in repentance. The difference, of course, is that God really knows all of your sins. He knows about everything you try so desperately to hide. But, God does not care what the sin is. He forgives it all. He buries it and never brings it up again. With God there really is always a fresh start. He doesn’t grudgingly forgive. He doesn’t say, “alright, you messed up again. I suppose I have to take you back.” No. God is the father in this parable, embracing us, kissing us, restoring us as if nothing had ever happened. That is what our God is really like. That is the core of Who He really is. Amen.