My son Elijah (20 mo’s) has an incredible ritual right now. As soon as he sees me when I walk in the door from work, he runs to me and grabs both of my legs hanging on for dear life. He looks up at me with a huge smile on his face and then I pick him up. He then nestles his head into my chest and pats me on the back. Rich!
What a great response to his father. A little different then saying “Dad, I wish you were dead” (Luke 15) The prodigal son has a completely opposite response to his father than Elijah. Unfortunately, my response to God is often closer to this son than my own son. The most amazing part of that story is not the eventual repentence of the son, but the response of the father. “Filled with compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him” (v.20) WOW! We can’t fully appreciate that response out of the Jewish culture context. The appropriate response would have been arms crossed when the boy showed back up. “Go find somewhere to stay in town. Come back here every day for the next three months and we’ll see if you are worthy to be my son again.”
The other incredibly non-Jewish response was how the father handled the older son. His father went out after him and begged him to come back in to the party. That would not happen. The Father’s love is so radical and amazing! At the end of the day both sons knew that they were loved beyond reason.
Prayer: Lord, help me to respond to your presence like Elijah. Draw me to yourself. Amen