LIFE IN THE CITY Season Two (Episode 33)

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“Put your hands together as we welcome Pastor Emmanuel,” The MC said on a high note interrupting my thoughts.

“Hallelujah,” Pastor Emmanuel said when he climbed the stage.

“Praise the Lord,” We chorused.

“Give the Lord some praise,” he said and the auditorium was thrown into shouts of praise.

After praying, he began with his message.

“How would you feel if you were a Father who loved his children so much. You worked hard to give them a comfortable life. Then one day, your youngest son comes to you and demands his share of your properties.

To him, you are as good as dead, so the only thing left is to have his share of inheritance. You give in to his demand. He then goes out to squander the money and comes back home. What would be your reaction?”

There were murmurings in the auditorium.

“You don’t have to tell me what you would do. The way you behave when someone offends you tells it all. If you were this Father, I’m sure you would tell him to go back to wherever he’s coming from or worst still disown him,” He paused.

“I know we are all familiar with this story to the extent that some of us give our own interpretation to the it. Many insist that the prodigal son asked for forgiveness and that’s why the Father received him back. That’s good, there’s nothing wrong with him asking for forgiveness but that’s not what the bible reveals.

Let’s read it:

Luke 15:18-20
I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

“The bible says that when we was a great distance away, his father saw him, had compassion and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. It was the Father who saw him a great distance away and run to meet him.That means that his father stood daily watching to see if his son would return.

There are significant things about what the Father did. He saw him and had compassion on him. This was the father’s reaction, he had compassion on him. He was not angry.

Again, he ran to meet him, actually the Greek rendering says he sprinted to meet him. Among the Israelites, an elderly man was not supposed to sprint because of the clothing they wore, sprinting could strip him naked. But this father did not mind, he sprinted to meet his son. Can you imagine an old man sprinting to meet his son, not a good son but a prodigal one as that?

On my best day, my father would never sprint to meet me. But here was a good for nothing son whom the Father was sprinting to meet.”

He then embraced and kissed him on the neck. A kiss on the neck actually signifies forgiveness. So the Father forgave him even before he had the time to recite his rehearsed apology. “Hallelujah!”

Luke 15:21-24
21And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. 22But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 23and bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: 24for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

The Father didn’t take advantage of the apology to tell the son how wrong he was for doing such an awful thing. Right after the apology, he ordered for the best robe, a ring and shoes for his son. He had done nothing to deserve it. He had done everything to be disowned but here he was, being treated as a prince.

“Hey! Glory! Wow!, hallelujah! and many more could be heard in the auditorium.

“This shows us the love the Father has for us, he continued. His love is unconditional, He does not  demand certain things of us before he showers us with His love. Yesterday He loved you, today He loves you and tomorrow too, He will love you. I can say this with all boldness because the love of God fails not! Paul asked in Romans 8:35, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” The answer is nothing!”

“There was another round of screams in the auditorium…

To be continued…

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