Jesus tells a story of a son who rebels against his father. The son goes to a far away land where life goes all wrong for him. He ends up lonely and broke. He decides to return to his father, ask for forgiveness and to be given a second chance to earn again his father’s respect. But when he returns, his father runs to him and welcomes him. He doesn’t even wait to hear the son say how sorry he was. He lifts him up and restores him as his son. And he tells everyone that his son was dead but is now alive.
We have rebelled against God. We have misused the good gifts we have been given. We have loved the material possessions more than we have loved the one who gave us all things. But as soon as we take just one step back towards God, God takes ten steps towards us. He welcomes us, embraces us and restores us.
At the heart of Christianity is forgiveness. God’s forgiveness of us, and his call to us to come to him, to receive his forgiveness, and to forgive those who have sinned against us.