Last Sunday was a special day at Bread—old friends returned and visitors joined us for our Homecoming. We shared the bread and the cup around the communion table and then we shared a meal. The only thing missing was YOU! At Bread we are family and there is always room at the table for more.
Some of you have heard of Bob Goff who wrote a New York Times bestseller Love Does. His newest book is Everybody Always. He is an engaging writer and writes about his faith in an intensely personal way. I want to share an excerpt from his new book with you.
Jesus told his friends a story about a father and a lost son. The boy wasn’t spending his days in the driver’s seat of other people’s trucks, but pretty close. He’d messed up and felt really bad about what he’d done. . . But when he was found, something different happened to the son. . . The son ran back toward the relationship he had with his father, not away from it. It’s something we all get to decide whether we’ll do. You’ve probably messed up a couple of times. Me too. Run back toward God, not away from God.
The father in Jesus’ story ran toward the son too. When the father found out the son wasn’t lost anymore, he celebrated. . . I think I know why. There was no shame. The father wasn’t thinking about how badly the son messed up. The son wasn’t thinking about it either. They both knew the son had steered his life right off a cliff, but some how they got past the shame of the failure and got to the celebration of being together once again.
Do lots of that. Find your way back to the people you’ve loved and who have loved you. Figure out who you’ve broken your rhythm with. Don’t let the misunderstanding decide your future. If you lost your way with God, let God close the distance between you and start the celebration again. We’re all in the same truck when it comes to our need for love and acceptance and forgiveness.
What made sense to me when I first heard about Jesus is how he doesn’t give us a bunch of directions intended to manipulate our behavior or control our conduct. Instead, Jesus has beautiful hopes for us and has told us what those are, but he isn’t scowling at us when we’re not yet ready to have those same hopes for ourselves. He won’t love us more or less based on how we act, and he is more interested in our hearts than all the things we do. Jesus isn’t stuck telling us what to do, when to do it, or what we want either. Far better. He continues to tell us through our success and our mistakes who we are, and here’s what he wants us to know—we are his.
With Bobby Duncan’s help we are planning a concert. The cost to get in is a donation of school supplies for our local schools. Details about the concert will be coming soon—
Wednesday nights beginning again soon—watch for information about our fall session of mid-week studies.