Tuesday, October 2, 2012
We Had To...
Scripture: Luke 15:32 (NIV)
"But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found."
Observation: Jesus' closing statement in the parable of the lost son is where we find ourselves most often. This is wrapping up a series of parables on losing and finding.
He didn't say, "It would be a good idea if we did."
He didn't say, "Maybe we should."
He didn't say, "What would you think if we did?"
He said, "We had to..."
It's almost as if he were saying, "But son, don't you get it? There was nothing else that we could have done but celebrate." That's the way it should be with those of us already in the church. It's not so much about us finding ourselves in the mud covered shoes of the prodigal, wandering aimlessly until we finally come to our senses and decide we've had enough. Those stories are amazing stories, and I love hearing them...but...
...but, as Jesus was talking about the older son, the one who just didn't quite get it...he was talking about us.
We are the ones in this story, many times, who sit back and pout because the church is doing ministry on the outside, instead of catering to our whims...we are the ones who want to spend the church dollars on programming and ministries that make us feel good, instead of spending those dollars outside the walls. We are the ones who get upset when the pastor schedules lunch with a recovering addict who has just joined the fellowship, instead of sitting in our house drinking coffee.
"But son...we had to. I love you, and all that I have is yours, but when your brother came home, we had no choice but to celebrate because he was dead and is alive, he was lost and is found. We had to...."
O God of the already found and the still looking, speak to me once again this day. In those moments when I question the joy that heaven feels when one of yours turns toward home, show me where the party is so that I can celebrate with them. Amen,