The next "holiday" is Valentine's Day. Now I know that day is normally considered a "romantic" day, but I was thinking about it in a different way for my sunday school kids. The whole thing wrapped around Valentine's Day is LOVE. So I decided that for the next five sundays we would discuss LOVE in the way that God sees it. I told the story of the prodigal son. As I was preparing for the lesson, I got to thinking about how the father welcomed and rejoiced over his lost son who had returned home. The prodigal son left home with all his belonging, his father's money and headed to what he thought was a better life. Which in a way, he had a good "new" life for awhile. He didn't have to work, no schedule to keep, and he didn't have to listen to his father, but the moment came that his life came to a screeching halt and he realized that he had sinned against his father and against God. When the prodigal son came home, it did not matter to the father of what his son did, the only thing that did matter is his son came back home. The oldest brother was upset with the celebration- he had stayed at home, helped his father, never wasted his father's money and never got a celebration. The father explained that everything that he had belonged to his oldest son, but the youngest son left home and now has returned.
We, as people, tend to get frustrated and upset with others because of stuff that they do or things that they don't do that maybe they should be doing. Jesus always accepts people back no matter what we have done or how far we have gone. Jesus always throws a celebration and welcomes us back, just like the father of the prodigal son did. That is LOVE. God loves us no matter how many times we fall, slap him in the face or never listen to Him. He will always welcome us into His arms and say welcome back. We need to show that same LOVE to others that we share our life with. I want to focus on the word LOVE over the next month and remind myself that word is the key to life. Isn't that the key? God LOVES us no matter what, let's show that same LOVE to those around us.