One Sunday afternoon my wife and I were on our way to a park for one of our branch church’s anniversary celebrations. We parked the car and, seeing the bounce house and a gathering of people, we started heading across the grass to that part of the park. As I was scanning the crowd for familiar faces, my wife noticed one of our kids, their spouse and our grandson. So I yelled out to or grandson and he started to look around, his mom pointed him in my direction and he started running towards me, yelling, ‘Papa, Papa!’, and I instinctively went running towards him calling his name. I scooped him up and swung him around as we were hugging he asked, ‘And Mormor?’ (Mormor is Swedish for mother’s mother and what all our grandkids call my wife) and then he proceeded to tell me about all his adventures of the day so far. Now, I’m not sure what was going through his little mind that moved him to run towards me, but I know I was compelled to run because of the deep love I have for him. Like with all my grandsons their mere presence ignites love-motivated actions in me. Sure, it was not all that dignified, nor all that graceful to see a guy my age break into a run, but I had to. Love does that. Sometimes love runs.
It reminds me of a story Jesus told and recorded in Luke 15:11-32. The story has been given a number of titles; The Prodigal Son, The Tale of Two Sons, The Lost Sons. The story does speak of a man’s two sons, but actually is more about the father and his love-motivated run. The story goes like this…
Luke 15:11-12 11 And He (Jesus) said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them.
Now this younger son goes off and squanders his resources and comes up alone, starving, and in great need. Coming to his senses he remembers his father’s house and even how well his father’s employees are treated. This younger son devises a plan to return to his father’s house, to at least be one of his workers. As the dejected son makes his way home, his father notices and runs towards him and wraps him up in his arms.
Luke 15:20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
Love does that. Love runs to restore relationships. Love sprints to reconnect. Love races to reconcile. Yet there is something that holds us back from love. It’s found in the story of the other son. See, the father, so taken by the love of the this lost son now found, accepted him back, brought him into honor, and even threw a party for him. Love does that. Love runs to forgiveness. Love sprints to mercy. Love races to compassion. But the older son was struck with envy and a pride that he should be most favored, or only favored. So he refused to accept this younger son’s return and would not enter the father’s house. So love moved the father to run out to him.
Luke 15:28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him,
The story ends with no resolution. We don’t know if the older son every embraced the father’s love, but we do know the love of the father moved the father to run.
This is a beautiful story about God and His active love towards humanity. God loves all of us and continues to run towards us and after us. He wants so much for us to connect with Him, to come into His house and enjoy life in relationship with Him. This is really what the Easter season is all about. God running towards us providing the way and opportunity for us to connect to Him through what Jesus did on the cross, then verified by Jesus’ resurrection.
I encourage you to consider God’s great love and explore Jesus this Easter season. Church is a great place to learn about Jesus, especially over Easter week (April 9-16). If you do not have a church you regularly attend, please feel invited to ours. We have a wonderful Easter week planned with special services on Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. Our web site has all the information for all our campuses: www.cypresschurch.net . We would love for you to experience God’s love with us.
Running with Love along with you,