Take a moment to look at your fingerprint. Experts say it is unique. You share it with no one who lives or has ever lived. Let is remind you that God wanted you, specifically you, to come into this world. And let it remind you that our loving God grieves for you, when you hurt, and misses you, specifically you, when you turn away.
Let this week’s Gospel dispel all the false views of God you may have heard. God is not angry or vengeful when you sin. God is not an accountant who tallies our sins against our good deeds or a cop who waits to punish us when we err. Unfortunately, many people hold on to those images. Some pastors and teachers even teach them, often be-cause they misunderstand Old Testament Scripture passages that seem to portray God as angry or vengeful.
Jesus tried to dispel those images of God as he announced the beginning of God’s Reign. “Rejoice,” he said. God is running to greet you right now. Turn toward God and let God embrace you.
Look at the lost son in the Gospel story this week. He basically had wished his father dead by asking for his inheritance. But when he returns because he has nowhere else to go, the father runs to him, gives him the family ring, clothes him in the best robe, and kills a fattened calf (people ate meat rarely). If you read the text closely, you see that the father doesn’t even let his son complete the apology before ordering all this.
Lent is a time to come home. We all stray. We live in a world that often calls us away from God. But God knows each of us by our fingerprint, knows when we turn away, and still always stands waiting, scanning the horizon, maybe weeping, hoping to see us turn back, looking for a chance to run toward us and embrace us once again.
In what ways do you need to come home to God this Lent?