How Different Would the Story Be?
"So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him."
How much different would the story of the Prodigal Son be if we took the element of grace out of it? What if, instead of running out to meet him, the father waited on the son to approach him. Instead of a welcoming smile and embrace, imagine a stern faced father who let his wayward son give his whole prepared speech.
When the young man finished with, "I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant," the father would have given his speech. "You are right. You are not worthy to be called my son. You have brought shame upon me and my good name. You have sinned against your brother who has had to do your work and his in the family business. However, I will hire you on as one of my servants. I will apply part of your wages towards restitution for the money you squandered."
That changes the whole dynamic of the story doesn't it? If we did not know this parable, this how we expect that it should end. The boy was irresponsible, foolish, and should be taught a lesson, right? We can't let him off too easy.
Thank God for His grace. Grace does the unexpected. Grace runs out to embrace us and walk with us back to the house. Grace covers our sins and offers us another chance. Grace gives us what we don't deserve.
How has grace made a difference in your life?
If you would like to help us share the grace of God in Brazil, here is the link. Obrigado!