The story tells of a little boy who got lost in his home and couldn’t find his way back. Kind strangers found him crying and offered to take him home. But he didn’t know his address, so they instead took him to the local police station for help.
An officer patiently interrogated him, trying to find out where he lived, but all the little boy could offer was his name. Then he remembers: “I live near a church with a very large cross. If you take me to the cross, I can find my way back.
Isn’t this a parable of the situation of many people as individuals, as well as of our society? Feeling hopelessly lost. They – and we collectively – must be brought to the Cross so that we can find our way back.
It reminds me of the parable of Jesus about the prodigal son in the gospel of Luke, chapter 15. The youngest son, apparently tired of waiting for his father to die to collect his inheritance, insisted on receiving it in advance . “Father, give me my share of property” (Luke 15:12). The story does not detail how the father felt upon hearing such an extravagant and insulting request; Jesus simply said that the father agreed and divided the property between his two sons.
The ungrateful son began to squander his wealth in the wild, then fell on hard times when a severe famine struck the entire country. His desperation grew so deep that he signed up to look after the pigs and later envied the porridge he fed them. Eventually, the wayward young man rationalized: Why not go home, throw himself at his father’s mercy, and become a mercenary?
Instead, the father rejoices in the son’s return, hugging and kissing him, and throwing a party to celebrate. There is more to Jesus’ parable, but it ends with the father saying to the indignant older brother, “we had to rejoice and rejoice, because your brother was dead and came back to life; he was lost and he is found” (Luke 15:32).
It is not too difficult to imagine what God thinks of much that is happening in our country and in the world. We took his bountiful blessings without gratitude and, in fact, thumbed our noses at him, declaring that we didn’t need him and wanted him out of our lives. We know what is best for our lives. Or so we think.
However, it seems that after a wild and tumultuous life, hard times have arrived and more are on the way. We have been through a pandemic, fearing it is not over. Inflation in general and gas prices in particular are draining our wallets. Senseless violence spirals out of control. The war and the rumors of war have exhausted us. Deep-rooted and conflicting worldviews have all but eliminated civil discourse.
Our nation has never been perfect – and never claimed to be – but the push to dispense with the traditional values and beliefs that have served as the foundation of our society has exceeded anything we could have imagined there. only 10 years old.
Figuratively speaking, we may soon end up wallowing with the pigs. God, who is loving but also holy, upright and just, waits patiently, expectantly, for us to recognize our need to return to the Cross and find our way home.
We seem to be walking towards a state of overwhelming exhaustion; feelings of hopelessness and hopelessness are not uncommon. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Why should we return to the Lord? Because in Romans 5:8 we are assured, “But God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. It is the fulfillment of an Old Testament prophecy which said: “Console, console my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem and proclaim to her that her hard service is over, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the hand of the Lord double for all her sins. (Isaiah 40:1-2). Who among us is without sin?
As I write this, the word from the old hymn, “Sweetly and tenderly,” comes to mind: “Sweetly and tenderly, Jesus is calling, calling for you and for me…. Come back, come back, you who are weary, come back; Intensely, tenderly, Jesus calls, calls, O sinner, come home!
I wonder how many more people will have to endure to respond to this invitation from our God to “come home”? Jesus also told several stories to warn that this invitation has a deadline; one day it will be too late to answer. Who knows how far we could be now? If you haven’t already, look for the Cross.
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Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has authored, co-authored and edited over 15 books. These include the recently released “Market Ambassadors”; “Business at its Best: Timeless Proverbial Wisdom for Today’s Workplace”; “Tufting Legacies”, “The Heart of Mentoring” and “Pursuing Life with a Shepherd’s Heart”. A weekly business meditation he edits, “Monday Manna”, is translated into more than 20 languages and emailed worldwide by CBMC International. His blog address is www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.