Right now three Dads are covenanting to pray for each other’s prodigal children. I suspect that number will grow which is both a bummer and, in an ironic sort of way, a blessing.
I carry with me a cross (see picture) my son made while he was, shall we say, in the hands of jurisprudence. It is fashioned from a Cheetos bag and a piece from a white garbage bag. The workmanship is amazing. I still do not know how he did it. It is not lost on me that it is garbage. Refuse. In the shape of a Cross.
Need I say more?
I will anyway: all our rebellion, darkness, smell, charades, duplicity, foolishness, failures and phoniness were absorbed into the cross for our redemption. All our—excuse the indignity—indefensible crap (and indignity) was laid into that wood. So when I hold my son’s very astute interpretation of the Cross’s impossible and unthinkable work—even though he keeps wanting to unravel and untwist the garbage to go back to it, I don’t see him as a hopeless case but as a potential overcomer with the odds so stacked in his favor I would be a fool to bet against God on his behalf.
To further inflate my expectations, this met me in my Time With God today:
“My wayward children,” says the Lord,
“come back to me, and I will heal your wayward hearts.”
“Yes, we’re coming,” the people reply, “for you are the Lord our God.
Our worship of idols on the hills
and our religious orgies on the mountains are a delusion.
Only in the Lord our God
will (insert child’s name here) ever find salvation.
From childhood we have watched
as everything our ancestors worked for—
their flocks and herds, their sons and daughters—
was squandered on a delusion.
Let us now lie down in shame
and cover ourselves with dishonor,
for we and our ancestors have sinned
against the Lord our God.
From our childhood to this day we have never obeyed him.”
(Jeremiah 3:22-25, NLT)
Amazing, right? Just what the prodigal’s parents crave to hear?
Yes it is. But at what cost?
Glad you asked:
“If you want to come back, O Israel, you must really come back to me.
You must get rid of your stinking sin paraphernalia
and not wander away from me anymore.
Then you can say words like, ‘As God lives…’
and have them mean something true and just and right.
And the godless nations will get caught up in the blessing
and find something in Israel to write home about.”
Here’s another Message from God
to the people of Judah and Jerusalem:
“Plow your unplowed fields,
but then don’t plant weeds in the soil!
Yes, circumcise your lives for God’s sake.
Plow your unplowed hearts,
all you people of Judah and Jerusalem.
Prevent fire—the fire of my anger—
for once it starts it can’t be put out.
Your wicked ways are fuel for the fire.
(Jeremiah 4:1-4, The Message)
We dads are standing together for our prodigals that it will never have to come to that.
And we have hope it never will.
Care to join us?