Tag Archives: welcome

A Faithful God vii

Two Sons

11 Jesus also told them another story:

Once a man had two sons. 12 The younger son said to his father, “Give me my share of the property.” So the father divided his property between his two sons.

13 Not long after that, the younger son packed up everything he owned and left for a foreign country, where he wasted all his money in wild living. 14 He had spent everything, when a bad famine spread through that whole land. Soon he had nothing to eat.

15 He went to work for a man in that country, and the man sent him out to take care of his pigs. 16 He would have been glad to eat what the pigs were eating, but no one gave him a thing.

17 Finally, he came to his senses and said, “My father’s workers have plenty to eat, and here I am, starving to death! 18 I will go to my father and say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against God in heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer good enough to be called your son. Treat me like one of your workers.’”

20 The younger son got up and started back to his father. But when he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt sorry for him. He ran to his son and hugged and kissed him.

21 The son said, “Father, I have sinned against God in heaven and against you. I am no longer good enough to be called your son.”

22 But his father said to the servants, “Hurry and bring the best clothes and put them on him. Give him a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23 Get the best calf and prepare it, so we can eat and celebrate. 24 This son of mine was dead, but has now come back to life. He was lost and has now been found.” And they began to celebrate.

25 The older son had been out in the field. But when he came near the house, he heard the music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants over and asked, “What’s going on here?”

27 The servant answered, “Your brother has come home safe and sound, and your father ordered us to kill the best calf.” 28 The older brother got so angry that he would not even go into the house.

His father came out and begged him to go in. 29 But he said to his father, “For years I have worked for you like a slave and have always obeyed you. But you have never even given me a little goat, so that I could give a dinner for my friends. 30 This other son of yours wasted your money on prostitutes. And now that he has come home, you ordered the best calf to be killed for a feast.”

31 His father replied, “My son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we should be glad and celebrate! Your brother was dead, but he is now alive. He was lost and has now been found.”

There must be more
to life
than this.
I don’t want to be here,
I’m wasted.
I want to be
Out There,
living my life,
enjoying the pleasures,
seeing the world.

It seems there is more,
so much more –
hunger,
disgrace,
self-loathing,
that dawning realisation
that I never had it so good,
yet I thought I knew better,
thought I could find the elusive
out there.

I was wrong.
How I long to return,
to a place of safety,
care
and nourishment.
What a fool I have been.
The worst of there
was so much more
than anything I have found here.

I wonder…

If I return,
can I work there,
earn my keep?
I don’t expect to be treated like a son,
an heir,
part of the family,
but if I can just serve them
I will be so much better
than I am here.

My son,
my precious child,
so dear to me,
and yet
such a wanderer.
But he’s still my son,
flesh of my flesh,
an intrinsic part of my life,
my heart,
my world.

How I miss him.
I long for his safe return.
What he has done
doesn’t matter,
we can sort it out,
make things right again,
if only he comes home.
I yearn for that day.

Here he is!
he has returned.
I can see him coming,
getting closer to me.
I could wait here,
arms crossed,
furious,
ready with a piece of my mind,
a list of all he’s got wrong.
But that is not what matters now.
What is important is that he is coming,
returning to me,
to the safety of my arms.

Father,
I’ve got it so wrong,
been so stupid,
thought I knew better.
I’m sorry.
Can I come home?

I don’t expect
to be welcomed into the house,
but if I can just live here
and serve you.
That is so much better
than the way I chose.
I want to be back
under your roof,
but I don’t expect
to be your son any more.

You are my son.
You always were my son
and you always will be.
You are here now,
chosen to return
and live with me,
that is what matters.

So you can get away with anything
and still be welcome here
can you?
Whatever happened to loyalty
and faithfulness?
Do they count for nothing?
Is anyone welcome
back here?

Well yes,
actually they are.
This home is for those who knew all along
what they had,
and for those who had to go a long way away
to discover it.
It is for who have done right,
and for those
who discover how wrong they have got it.
This home is for anyone
who wants to call it home.

Come As You Are

Welcome Home

This is based on today’s lectionary reading, Luke 15:1-3, 11-32, but it also works with the theme of Lent 4 and returning to Mother Church (which is liturgically what today is about, rather than celebrating mothers…), and fits in with this weeks reading from  Christ in the Wilderness by Bishop Stephen Cottrell, published by SPCK, reflecting on Stanley Spencer’s paintings of that title – this week specifically The Foxes Have Holes (seen here).

I thought I knew better.

I thought I could do it my way.

I wanted freedom,

fun,

life

now

without waiting.

I wanted to be my own person.

Splash the cash,

enjoy life…

But money goes.

I found out it is lonely out there.

I discovered some things are more important.

The grass wasn’t greener on the other side

– without you it is much much drier and browner.

What was I thinking?

What have I done?

 

I’m not fit to be thought of as your child,

but I’d rather be your servant than live this existence.

Hungry,

afraid,

alone,

I return home to you.

I’m going to come and beg

for understanding,

for forgiveness,

for a place on your staff.

Where I will be cared for,

and fed.

But as I turn for home,

I see someone looking,

waiting,

searching.

I see you

running towards me,

flinging your arms around me,

welcoming me home.

Not taking me as a slave,

but welcoming me back into your family.

I am not good enough,

but you accept me

and rejoice over me,

I am back with you.

This is where I belong.

Waiting over

God keeps his promises.  He said he would come and be born in the world – and he has.  He has come to bear the burdens, to show how God would live a life on earth, to love us.

Lord we welcome you.

We know you are already here.

We know it is your world anyway,

But in our way, we welcome you anew.

Thank you that you keep your promises.

Thank you that you came to share in human life.

Come today, and share in my life anew I pray

For we know you are waiting to come,

waiting to live,

waiting to love.

Welcome Lord Jesus afresh today.  Amen