And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it; and let us eat and be merry, for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’
This was the last in the series of twenty-two, and I struggled with an idea for a couple of weeks. Then it came to me, that even as young children brought up in the church, as I was, we are taught, “God is love”. Of all the other attributes and subjects on which I wrote, they exist because of the fact that God is love.
The fifteenth chapter of Luke records the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, as well as the lost son. And in each case, there is great rejoicing when the lost has been found.
It's interesting to me that this was written two decades ago, and yet it sounds like it could have been written last week — as I'm using the same structure today (as evidenced by a poem written just last week, Jacob, the Deceiver).
The Loving Father
I am a loving Father —
With children far abroad;
They’ve left me for a distant shore,
To serve a foreign god.
Neglecting My commandments,
Rejecting what is right,
They’re living wise in their own eyes,
Yet cannot see the light.
My arms are always open,
And patiently I wait
To reconcile my long-lost child
Who’s still outside My gate.
I’m merciful and gracious —
When, prodigal, I meet:
I run and choose the softest shoes
To soothe their weary feet.
Upon those aching shoulders
I place a robe to wear,
And then I bring the golden ring
That signifies My heir.
The fatted calf is slaughtered,
And heaven’s hosts resound:
My child was dead — now lives, instead;
Was lost — but now is found!