Celebration of Grace
The holiday season has arrived. Joy is in the air. This is the time of year when many people hang lights, buy gifts, send cards, and celebrate with loved ones. It is a magical moment where the great taste of cookies and the bad taste of reindeer sweaters co-exist in perfect harmony. A true Christmas miracle!
The thought of what takes place at many Christmas parties — the laughter, the music, the food — reminds me of a celebration in Scripture. It was a truly festive affair. However, it was for the last person you would expect, the prodigal son!
The prodigal son did not deserve a party. A lashing, maybe. A lecture, certainly. But not a party. His reckless behavior was simply inexcusable. After all, how dare he demand his part of the inheritance while his father still lived? How dare he go off and blow the money on loose living in a foreign country? How dare he come back now with nothing to show for himself? He deserved banishment, not a banquet! He should be sentenced, not celebrated! But that’s the point. God is willing to extend grace to even the worst sinners when they seek it. It is not based on their merit, but on His mercy.
The father was ready and willing to receive his son. However, it was up to the son to repent and seek reconciliation. If he had not done that, he would have never benefited from his father’s grace. And so it is with us. God will do His part, but we must do our part.