What was it like when the power came back on after last weeks hurricane? Were you happy, even joyful? It’s how we feel when lost things come back.
The father in today’s Gospel rejoiced in his son’s return; he wrapped his arms around him; clothed him not just physically but in his identity as his beloved son who has a place in his house. Then he invited him into the house and shared a feast and rejoiced.
The father says to the eldest son, all I have is yours. You see the older son saw himself as a slave. The father had to remind him of his identity. You have a place here. And he invites him to share the heart he has for the lost son. Until the older son takes on the father’s heart he hasn’t really grown up, he hasn’t taken on his identity. For us in the church who has been around for along time we have to be reminded of the same message sometimes. The Lord wants us to know our identity as sons and daughters of God and know we are loved.
Today in the parable of the prodigal son, the father asks the older son to share in his joy for the lost coming home. He asks the older son to share his heart for the lost and it’s the same thing Jesus is asking each of us. You have always known my house, will you share the love I have for those who are trying to get there? Will you wait on the path, welcoming and inviting all you see? Will you invite them for a feast?
And that my friends is the heart of Alpha, that’s why its such a high priority for us. We want to welcome people into an experience for the Father’s love for them as they share our table and our conversations. I know its hard to invite others, but if we don’t do it, who will. For a lot of people we are it. Who will you invite? Who do you have the father’s heart for? Pray for them and invite them to Alpha so that they may experience the Father’s love for them.