“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ 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’” (Luke 15:17-20)
My favorite part about walk-off home runs is not the hit itself but the mob scene at home plate. The players’ faces remind me of kids. It’s almost as if these dramatic moments turn grown men into small children for a few seconds, and we are all reminded once again that these big league ball players love to play the game.
After the home run is hit, the teammates clear the dugout, sprint to home plate and anxiously await for the hero of the night to come home. They see him from afar off running around the bases. Some will even run up the 3rd base line to greet him early. They will embrace him when he touches home, and some teammates may even kiss him on the head as they all join the celebration.
Coming home was the only choice the younger son had. He could have stayed where he was, but he would have died with the pigs. The toughest decision he had to make was to leave where he was and begin the journey back home.
Notice what the father did, though. He saw his son first. He felt compassion. Then he ran to his son. He embraced him, and he kissed him. And that all began when his son “was still a long way off,” almost as if the father had been looking for him to return the whole time.
If you left your Father’s house, are in a far country, are feeding the pigs, or are doubting whether or not you will be accepted, come home. No matter where you are, no matter what you’ve done, and no matter what you fear the future holds for you, come home. Even if you think it’s too late, come home.
Like the teammates at home plate, and like the father in Luke 15, Jesus is waiting for you to come home. He will see you from a long way off, He will feel compassion, He will run to you, He will embrace you and He will kiss you. You can have assurance that He will welcome you home because He died for you and is alive again reigning in heaven above.
Come home and join the celebration.
– Daniel Matthews