May 22

Is Ephraim my dear son.  Is he the child I delight in?  As often as I speak against him, I still remember him.  Therefore, I am deeply moved for him; I will surely have mercy on him, says the Lord.  Jeremiah 31:20

But while the son was still far off,  his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him.  Luke 15;20

Both of our bible verses for today tell of Gods amazing love, compassion and mercy for those who were lost to him and found again.  With our human and finite minds,it is hard for us to imagine that love that goes far beyond what we expect or deserve.  Just as the family of the prodigal son celebrated his return, God celebrates in heaven when one of his beloved children returns to him.

Imagine now that you are lost, wandering in an unfamiliar landscape that gives you no clues as to what you should do or where you should go.  You are an Israelite in the desert or perhaps a troubled child, a dissatisfied child who is enticed by a life that will harm you in the end.  You are far from Gods care and protection.  Then you wake up as if from a dream and think “where am I?”  Jesus, the good shepherd has sought you and found you and you are back in the fold. Thanks be to God.

Compassion, love, mercy.  Lovely words that define our God and are lavished on us.

How can we not celebrate?

Jesus, like a shepherd lead us.  Forgive us when we wander from the safety of the path which you created for us.  In this unforgiving and uncertain world, be our lifeline.

We are yours and you are ours.  Hold us tight.  Amen
 
Joan Perlich