Friday, March 12, 2010
My favorite passage in the New Testament is the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32.) Many years ago I had an unforgettable experience at a ballet based on this parable.
The last scene begins with the son, almost naked, making his way back home after wasting all of his inheritance. He crawls painfully along from stage left. His father in splendid robes, looking like an Old Testament patriarch, stands still on stage right with his arms open wide. When the son reaches the father he begins remarkably to pull himself up the father's body. As he puts his arms around his father's neck, his father closes his arms around his son in a magnificent embrace and the son disappears completely in the father's robes, entirely one with his father. At that moment I felt myself caught up out of my theater seat into our Father's loving embrace.
This experience has had a profound influence on the way I understand my relationship with God. Like the son, I see myself as absolutely nothing on my own. No way I can earn my way into union with our Father. It is entirely our Father's unearned love that welcomes me home and holds me in His warm embrace forever.