This week I was teaching Scripture at our local primary school. The lesson was the prodigal son, and I was once again surprised by how big and radical God’s love is for us. And it wasn’t just me – the students seem to get it too!
The parable you may recall is of a son who treats his father in the most shameful manner, taking off with all his money and then losing it all in equally shameful ways. He is forced to head home with nothing.
He is met by his father who is waiting for him. His father welcomes him home with open arms. He forgives his wayward son, and then does something amazing – instead of exacting a punishment from him, he throws his son a party.
“For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found”. Luke 15:24
My scripture kids were trying to work this out – “so he could do whatever he wants and get away with it?”
It didn’t seem fair. But that is what grace is – our Father’s big “yes” to us!
However, I asked my class a followup question: When the son came home, and received that forgiveness, and was thrown a party, do you think he would go out and do what he did again? “NO!” they all shouted.
God’s grace comes to us whatever we have done, whoever we are. But God’s grace never leaves us as we are.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Eph 2:4-5,10