Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A Cause To Celebrate

UV 1576/10000 A Cause to Celebrate
It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
Luke 15 v 32
The younger son partied without cause and without restraint. He quickly ran out of the money he had collected from his father as his share of his inheritance. His father rejoiced on seeing him return alive though apparently downcast and depressed. He found it a cause for celebration and ordered a feast to mark the occasion. The lost son was found again. The dead son had come alive. Similarly, when we take what we have in this world and do just what we want, we are like the lost son. We are dead to the Father. But He rejoices when we return to Him and acknowledge that we have fallen short of his expectations. He will place on our finger again His signet ring- the sign that He has made us a ruler in His house- a house with many mansions. He gives us the new robes of salvation.

The experience of salvation is one of restoration. We are blind to the Father’s love. But now we see a whole new world open before our eyes. We will never leave the Father’s house again. It is one of resurrection- we are spiritually dead though physically alive. The Lord revives us and calls us to life. It is an experience of being lost without hope. But the Lord finds us while we are lost and enables us to find all that we were seeking in vain this far in His embrace. Salvation is a continual spiritual feast in the company of Jesus where we feast on the wonderful promises of God. We have a commitment to keep our newly gifted clothes clean. We have the authority delegated by the Father over the spiritual and material world. We have the spirit of gladness and the joy of salvation that no one can take away from us hereafter.

The younger son’s repentance brought more joy to the Father’s heart than the self righteousness of the elder. We cannot enter the presence of a perfect Father on the strength of our own goodness. But when we go to Him with a broken and contrite spirit, He more than restores us. He makes us feel like a returning hero. He does not remind us of our past but beckons us to enjoy the present and live forever. The younger son had violated every good principle the Father had taught him while he lived a wild life on his own. He had killed his conscience. Yet when he had hit rock bottom and lived off a pig sty, he remembered his Father’s house and had an urge to return. As long there is the urge to return, there is hope of salvation. The Father did not work up His feeling on seeing his son return but all along while his son lavished his passions and his money on a wasteful life, He remembered him and pined for him. The extent of the Father’s love enabled Him to forgive without limits: this is the meaning of grace. While the younger son lived in the Father’s house, he thought he was entitled to certain rights and privileges but when he returned, he knew he did not deserve anything. Whatever we receive from the Father is unmerited, undeserved and is grace. The Father celebrates with a feast but we celebrate with a feast of gratitude in our hearts for undeserved love, unmerited blessings and unearned promises.

Prateep V Philip

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