Just Because We’re Welcomed with Open Arms, It Doesn’t Mean We Get Off Scot-free
Home is one of the best places. Whether it’s the home where you currently live or the one you grew up in. There’s something just warm and wonderful about home. Granted some physical homes aren’t so good, but the emotional feeling of “home” is the place where we want to be.
Some people want to get away from home and explore. Even those people have a sense of home. Part of their adventure may be a search for that place that feels like home.
When exploring, it’s important to know where you are.
Erwin Kreuz was a traveler who thought he knew where he was only to find out he didn’t. In 1977 he came to America from Germany. He had always wanted to visit San Francisco.
On a layover in Banger Maine, due to speaking no English, he misunderstood a flight attendant who wished him a pleasant visit to San Francisco. This led him to believe he was in California, and he got off the plane. After days of looking for the Golden Gate Bridge and other landmarks, he found some German speaking people and realized his situation. His story went on to become Maine folklore.
Like the Bible story about the prodigal son. The younger son went on an adventure that ended with him longing for home. There was a point when he decided that he needed to go home and ask for forgiveness.
This is one of those stories that can leave us with feelings of uneasiness.
If you’re an older sibling, like me, we can identify with the older brother. We’ve been here all along. Working hard and doing what we’re supposed to and now this rebel comes home and he gets a party.
Maybe you identify with the younger brother and regret some of the things you’ve done. You just want to come home but are afraid that you won’t be allowed to.
Or maybe this story is upsetting. To think that someone could be so disrespectful and frivolous and come back and live like you did nothing wrong.
For years I struggled with aspects of this story but have come to some conclusions.
We all have portions of both brothers.
We have all made mistakes. Whether they are the high and mighty, I think I’m better for doing the “right things” like the older brother. Or the more openly in your face wild living like the younger brother.
Both brothers need to realize who their father is and ask for forgiveness.
The other thing that helped me with this story is that we don’t know what happens after the son’s return celebration is over.
It is evident throughout the Bible that just because we ask for forgiveness and “come home”, that’s not the end. There are consequences to our actions even after we come home.
Just look at the story of David and what happens after he sleeps with Bathsheba and then has her husband killed. Even after David repents and “comes home” there is a price to pay. The newborn baby of Bathsheba dies. One of his other sons, Amnon, sleeps with one of his daughters, Tamar. Tamar’s brother Absalom kills Amnon. And then Absalom rebels against David and ends up being killed in a battle with David.
There are consequences to our actions. But it’s still better to come “home” to the open arms of our Father, accept our punishment in love and live the life we’ve been called to live.