we've gotten it all wrong with the prodigal son

I shut my eyes tightly as worship started, forcefully trying to block out the thousands of others around me. I desperately needed to connect with God in a way I hadn't allowed myself in far too long. And as I asked Him to meet me in that place of brokenness, the Prodigal Son came to mind.

The story seemed to unfold behind my closed eyes, and a tear trickled down my face as I saw the father run out to embrace his son. God reminded me that it was Him running out to meet me.

No matter how far I've wandered, no matter how broken and messed up I've become, no matter how grimy and soiled I am, He runs out to meet me.

I saw with fresh eyes as He wrapped His robe of righteousness around me. He put His ring on my finger to remind me of the seal of His Spirit in my heart. And He didn't just call for the fattened calf. He sent His prize Lamb---the perfect Lamb of God---to be sacrificed for me.

I think we got it all wrong in calling this the Story of the Prodigal Son.

I think it's actually the Story of the Prodigal Father.

Prodigal means recklessly extravagant, lavishly abundant.

And that is the perfect description of the love the Father embraces His broken children with.