Sirach 17:24-29 (CEB)
However, for those who changed their hearts and minds, God granted a way back, and he encouraged those
who were abandoning hope. Turn back to the Lord and leave sin behind; offer prayers in his presence,
and reduce your offense. Return to the Most High, and turn from injustice, and hate what he detests.
Who will praise the Most High in the grave instead of the living and those who give thanks?
From the dead thanksgiving has perished, since they are no longer alive;
those who are alive and healthy will praise the Lord.
How great is the Lord’s mercy! How quickly is he reconciled with those who turn back to him!
And we’re back into the Wisdom of Sirach!
Turning back to God – coming home to God… Jesus’ story about the Prodigal Son was perhaps more engaging and more memorable – but it’s basically the same message that we hear through the Old Testament – God longs to welcome his people home, God longs for her people to turn and run back into her arms… Until recently I had always read these passages from the perspective of the one needing to run back to God. But recently I have started to read from from the other perspective – the perspective of God who LOVES to see his children come home. It’s probably because my kids have all been away at university and there have been MANY coming-home moments – and maybe it’s also because our oldest is about to fly the nest in a more permanent fashion – getting a job and setting up home independantly from us! I have built up a fine collection of selfie’s taken with my kids as they come home. Here’s Carys coming home at Christmas:
Here’s Hywel coming home from Miami:
Here’s Emrys and Carys coming home – round trip up to Teesside and back via Bradford:
I LOVE it when my kids come home. I reckon God loves it just the same when you or I take a step back towards home…