A Father’s Embrace

I’m over my head and lost

And the ground feels unstable and I can’t make this stop

But this I call, this I call to mind

How the Father runs to the wayward son

Comin’ back alive

Storehouse,” The Gray Havens

The above depiction of Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15) is by Nova Scotia artist Matthew Cupido. It was given to me by a friend and mentor at the end of a spiritual retreat a few years ago. I added the quote from the parable underneath.

As someone who was abandoned by his own father, I have often struggled with accepting God’s love for me. Often we unconsciously project our broken human relationships onto our ideas of God. I know I have. I probably still do, at least sometimes. And as a result I am still learning to receive and experience the unconditional love of my Heavenly Father, shown ultimately through the coming of Christ.

Christmas reminds me of the extent God will go to embrace me, to demonstrate his love, and to make me his own. Jesus’ parable, imagined by Cupido and referenced by The Gray Havens in their song quoted above, is the story of the Father’s love. In the incarnation this love took on flesh and blood. This season is about many things, but it is about this most of all.

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