If we would be welcomed as the Prodigal was
we must come as the Prodigal came
- A.W. Tozer
The church today is full of younger prodigal sons who are broken and beat down after retreating away. They retreated after they realized that God and the church itself do not always meet their expectations.
The church today is full of older brothers who sit and watch the broken prodigals come crawling through our doors. They watch with indignation and disgust; realizing that they have been obedient and honorable this whole time while the prodigals live a life of sin.
The church today fatally lacks Fathers who run to the broken with joyous tears and arms. The absent father would be a refreshing open tenderness and mercy for those in the church today. We greatly need but equally lack fathers and mothers who rejoice at the return of a prodigal and still proud of the older brother.
There are two problems!
ONE: I myself am a prodigal and an older brother, but rarely a father.
TWO: The church is full of prodigals and older brothers but lacks Fathers.
My heart breaks to know many Christians and I have disregarded certain people because they’ll buy booze with my change, they got themselves into this lifestyle, or their parents were piss-poor. It breaks my heart the most to realize I focus more on HOW they got there than the fact they ARE there.
I am broken at reading the story of the prodigal son and knowing the father did not withhold compassion because the prodigal chose this life. I am hurt not to find the prodigal’s father within me and my friends; this father who realized only one thing in the moment. He realized his son needed compassion and love. YES, his son DID choose this life. His son DID use the father’s money for booze, sex and other disgusting things. These are all realities, but the father chose to realize only one thing: his son needed compassion, love and relationship.
I am broken to my lack of compassion, love and relationship with the least of these.
Are these things excuses for these people’s current life choices? No, but I cannot overlook the fact it just may be part of the reason. Never mind how they got where they are; the fact remains, these people need compassion, love, relationship, and Jesus, and I have all of these to offer.