“He came to himself…” –Luke 15:17a (from the story of the Prodigal Son and the Prodigal Father)
Lent is a time for coming to ourselves, of realizing the distance we have put between ourselves and God. It is a time for recovering our “desire for God.” Henri J. M Nouwen once said, “ The spiritual life starts at the place here you can hear “God’s voice.” Jesus wisely taught us that it takes ears ready to hear to really listen, and eyes ready to see to really perceive. This week’s gospel lesson is the story of the prodigal son (which is more effectively understood as the story of the prodigal father who loves extravagantly and unconditionally). In the text the wayward young man hits bottom and then there is this wonderful line about his “coming to.” Lent IS a time for “coming to ourselves” – which prepares us to return home, regardless of how home is understood.ce
I pray that through your Lenten practices, you might understand home as that place where you can hear God’s voice. Our God is a prodigal God, loving extravagantly, forgiving unconditionally. Our God shouts our loud and whispers sweetly in our ears, “You are my child, written in the palm of my hand. I knit you together in your mother’s womb and you belong to me. I am yours and you are mine and I am holding you safe. No matter what happens to you – I am there. I will always be there and will hold you close. You are mine, you belong to my home.”
Beloved, may you come to yourself this Lent. May you come home. And may God bless our ministry richly and may we all be a blessing.
Rev. Wendy Miller Olapade