Week Four Devotion – Embracing Good News
But the father said to his slaves, “Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!” And they began to celebrate. Luke 15. 22-24
Have you ever received some really good news at what seems an inappropriate time. A time when the people around you are grieving, suffering or fearful. On occasions like these it seems prudent to keep your news to yourself. This may be compassionate to those around you but it can reduce your joy at the news. The consequences of which only strike you later on, then hopefully you can find a space to really experience the joy that was missing initially.
Of course, there may have been times when you have been on the opposite side of this dilemma. You have had bad news and someone comes to tell you good news and you really struggle to feel happy for them. It may take some time for you to realise how much their good news really meant to them and they were not trying to upset you on purpose.
The father was so full of joy because his son has returned that he wanted to celebrate with all the resources available to him. His elder son just could not join in with the joy, he felt rejected, annoyed and righteously indignant. The younger son was so lost and broken that he could not imagine the joy that his return would bring to his father. The events were the same but the reaction of the participants was so different because of the place they were at spiritually.
The father missed the son so much he just did not care about the past.
The younger son felt ashamed and guilty, lacking in self-esteem.
The elder son thought that he had been overlooked and the hurt became the dominant emotion which could not be easily set aside.
Our loving Lord understands the whole range of emotions that life in all its messy variety invokes in us. Not only understands but can provide us with the support, love and wisdom to let go of the old hurts and new frustrations and truly embrace all the good things in life which happen to those around us and indeed ourselves.
With all my love and prayers for a peaceful and holy Lent