The Father’s welcome

I had a great time away last weekend ministering in Somerset, but it’s good to be back. I return bringing greetings from the fantastic people of Haselbury Plucknet, who always make me feel like I’m a part of the family! I’m reminded again that that’s exactly what God does with you and me when we ignite a relationship with him.

No clearer is this illustrated than in the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), the well-known story of a father who had two sons. The younger demands his inheritance and proceeds to squander his wealth away from home. There are many lessons to be learnt, but arguably the greatest impact is found in the way the father welcomes the son back into the heart of the family! The message is simple: our relationship with God the Father is so based on love that he gave us the ultimate expression of commitment, the sacrifice of his son Jesus Christ and, through him, we can know the Father’s welcome no matter what our past has been like. The father of the prodigal asks no questions, he simply embraces his wayward son with grace, joy and love!

Today if you feel weary, battle-worn or even just a bit unworthy, know this: in the Fathers house there’s a father’s welcome! The last verse of Psalm 16 contains these God-directed words: ‘You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.’ This morning I pray that the ‘path of life’ through Christ will draw you closer into the presence of God, where, despite the challenges of the world, there really is ‘fullness of joy’. As we worship the Lord together today I encourage us to allow God to make his life, presence and joy known to us in a far deeper way than perhaps we’ve ever known before!