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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Families, Prodigals and Turkeys [8]

Ok, so we have been honest and examined ourselves, and we find that we may occasionally act like the older brother, Dave Jr. But the Bible, God, all of this is really about love and restoration.

So, even in this little parable, God has some tender words to say to us. In the parable, the father did not rush out and say to the older brother, “Get your behind in that house right now and act like you are happy for the little guy, or you will lose your part of the inheritance.”

No, he tenderly pleaded with him. There are three things God is saying to our Pharisee-like hearts through the father in this tale. He is saying:

I treasure our relationship more than your work.”

The father said, “You have always been with me.” He was saying, “It not your work that I cherish, Davey, it is you!”

Just knowing you were here at home with me gave me a great sense of enjoyment. God doesn’t just want our lip-service or service out of obligation, He wants our service as much as He wants us.

Remember the story of Mary and Martha? Martha was slaving away in the kitchen while Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet. She became angry at Mary (this time it's the older sister syndrome). Jesus said Mary had chosen the one thing that will never be taken from her, a relationship with Him.

Sometimes we work so hard at the doing, and getting things done, and checking that everyone and everything is in order, it is as if we think we can substitute the work for an honest relationship. 

“You have access to all of my resources.”

Next, the father said, “All that I have is yours.” He was saying, “If you wanted a billy goat feast, I would have been glad to give you one, but you never asked or acted like you wanted or needed one.”

To Christians today, He says, “You are my heir. You are a joint heir with my Son, Jesus. All that I have is available to you right now.”

Sometimes the Davey's look around and are jealous because it seems other everybody else is receiving more blessings than they do.

God is saying, “You have not because you ask not.” Sadly, so many us think we have to earn those blessings–but its all part of God’s grace. We have talked about this, and we get it.

But there is a little voice that says I need to speak about the human side of parenting. Now, this is a great father, and he is saying all the right stuff, and its just a little parble, but why didn't the father do for his sone without him having to ask?

If anyone reading has more than one child, then I am asking you are really hard question. We feel differently about each of our children, but we love them all. Our children depend on us, and even the little things can impact their lives in a positive or negative way for a very long time.

Stop. Look at your children. Is it time to mend some fences? Is it time to go back and hug your self-sufficient child, and tell them how much you love and respect them?

Like God's grace, our grace and mercy should extend to each of our offspring!

Just a thought...


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