Beside Still Waters: Every day can be your party, Son

Therese Apel

Photo by Derek Thomson on Unsplash
“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.'” – Luke 15:28-29
We see this in society all the time. A celebrity like Kat Von D comes to Christ and the Christian Church of Social Media rips into them like a pack of wolves, as though they don’t deserve salvation. And yet those same “Christians” will sit through a testimony from Darryl Strawberry and talk about what a miracle he is, years after the fact.
Why are we so reluctant to celebrate with new Christians when we’re uncomfortable with how they’ve lived? Just because you don’t have any tattoos, or because you’ve never done drugs, or you’ve never had a million dollars, does that mean you are more worthy than literally anyone else of God’s love?
The thing I love about what the father says to the older son is that when you read into it a little, he’s saying, “You can always party with me! Our love has always been worth celebrating.”
The older son was the 99. The younger son was the 1. To the father of these sons, it didn’t matter what kind of life either of them had lived, as long as they’re home now.
Church, we can (and should) celebrate our relationship with God every chance we get. Every day of having eternal life — on this side or the next — is a celebration because we will never have to face a day without Him. Even on the hard days, He assures us that He is still our father, and no matter where we’ve been, He’s just proud and happy we’re home.
The older son let resentment and selfishness paint a picture in his mind that was far from true. “Dad must not love me because he’s never had a party for me, and I didn’t even squander his wealth.” In reality, it was exactly the opposite.
All the goats are ours for the celebrating. All the parties are ours to be had. We belong to Him. ❤️

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