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The Prodigal Son

April 7, 2006


This is probably my favorite work of art. Rembrandt’s Return of the Prodigal Son is the most fitting picture of how we journey toward God. We come to the Father’s embrace, on our knees, grateful for the unconditional acceptance, the unmerited honor of being given a place in the Father’s house. This despite our sinful condition, despite our willful acts of independence. The squandered inheritance…the appetites for the world and the diet of pigpen delicacies.

Contemplating this picture helps me see the truth of how God sees me (and each human being). The compassionate look of mercy, not judgement. The hands on my shoulders, welcoming me home. He is not put off by my tattered clothes, my ragged footware, the pungent smell. Nothing of the kind. I am one of his. My place is with him and I am so grateful to be home.

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