Hey guys, hope everyone had a good round of Holidays. Christmas, New Year’s maybe some of ya’ll got to go out of town and visit family or just see some neat places. Well over winter break I went down to South Florida for one of my good friend’s wedding. It was tons of fun but a little exhausting. Not looking forward to the long ride home. Well, on the ride home as I was driving through Tampa I turned on this radio station that was playing worship songs. For whatever reason this music just made me happy. I was singing along and just feeling good about everything. I felt awesome. However as I drove back towards Tallahassee the further I got from Tampa the more unclear the station became. The more the static increased.(Begin static.) You see, the further you get from the source, the harder it is to listen.
So I’m driving and the further I get from Tampa the louder the static gets. The noise from the distance began to become louder and louder than the songs. Eventually the static became so loud that I had to turn the radio off….(turn static off.) and there I was…alone in the silence wishing I could just hear the song clearly.
By this point I had gotten so far from the source that the only way to hear the music clearly again would be to turn around and head back and as you get closer,(Turn static back on and begin fading it down) the static would begin to grow fainter and fainter…until I could hear the song clearly again.
In the Bible there is this story that Jesus tells of a Father and his sons. One of the sons approaches the Father and he asks for his inheritance early. Now in this time an inheritance would be something you would receive after your Father had passed away so this son coming up and asking for the inheritance now was equivalent to us walking to our parents and saying “I wish you were dead.” But the Father he gave the son the money. And the son left his home. He walked away from his Father and pursued his desires. He went out and partied and got drunk and hooked up with girls. As the Bible described it he spent all of his wealth on wild living (Charlie Sheen comes to mind). This son spent all of his money pursuing things that the world tells us we should want. You need that hot boyfriend or girlfriend, you need those nice clothes, you need to drink to be cool. He spent all of his money pursuing these things. Eventually his money ran out and the fun ended. And those friends he thought he had, he found out they weren’t really his friends. He was left in the silence. Alone. He had no one there for him. He didn’t even have any way of getting food. So he found a pig feed and he ate the scraps that were being fed to the pigs. I mean this is definition rock bottom. It was there that he realized that he had gotten away from the source. And he knew that the only way to keep going, to keep living to hopefully find happiness again, he would have to go back home. Go back to the source. Go back to his Father.
The Son went home to what he knew would be his Father furious at him. He expected his Father to turn him away. He expected to be unwelcome back home. And here’s what the story says.
“So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran out to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”
And then the father told his workers to go and prepare a feast. He told everyone to prepare for a party.
The boy confused told his dad that he didn’t deserve this, that he was unworthy to even be called the man’s son. But the father said “Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” So they began to celebrate and the music was loud. And it was awesome.
Because you see that song is always playing. We can get away from it bringing lots of static and distractions into our lives, but we are always welcome back.
The Father in that story represents Christ. Jesus was telling the story to show you that even while “you are still a long way off” He is running out to meet you and to throw his arms around you and celebrate.” The question for all of us is are we willing to head back home? Are we willing to leave the static behind and move back towards the source that gives us happiness, that makes us feel good, the source that throws us a party when we decide to come back home.
Because that is what Jesus came to do, to run out to us even while we are still a long way off and celebrate as we come back home. The question for all of us is are we ready to do that? Are we ready to leave behind the messes that we choose and return back to the source that always offers us love. Because God has a celebration waiting for you. Are you going to show up to your own party?