Father Philip Writes...
During Lent we are studying St Luke’s Gospel, Chapter 15 – the parable of the Prodigal Son. The Pharisees avoided all contacts with sinners, but Jesus shows them a very different kind of God.
He lost his money, health, honour and self-respect, but the important point was that he was able to return to his father…. “Father, I have sinned!....."
The father in the parable represents God. So many Christians sadly stress the fear of God’s revenge and punishment, but as long as the Father invokes that kind of fear, he remains an outsider and cannot fully live within us. There are times we are all like the younger son and we are all like the elder son, but are we like the Father? Jesus said, “Be compassionate as your Father in Heaven is compassionate.” (Luke 6 v 36) We must be like the Father and show compassion to others as He shows it to us. He is a God of compassion who joyfully welcomes sinners into his home.
The ‘Prodigal Son’ parable is the portrayal of God whose love, goodness, forgiveness, care, joy and compassion have no limits and we must all open to God’s Spirit to show this in our lives.
God sends his rain on the just and the unjust and is equally kind to the person who grieves his heart. It is a love we must copy if we, too, want to seek nothing except our enemy’s highest good.
To read more, and also about 'Buy a Bishop for an hour' click here