“If an alien was to walk in to our church today and say, “Ok you Church people, describe God to me.”
I Father Ron Shirley http://www.ronshirley.com wonder what our answer would be.
I believe one of the most powerful descriptions of God is contained in the 2 stories we just heard in Luke’s Gospel.
A. These images of God, too many people, don’t make any sense. When the sinner is found. Mercy, love and forgiveness are freely offered. No charge; no strings attached; no, “I told you so;” no finger pointing. Just, “Welcome Home.”
B. No matter how far we wander or stray from God, and we all do it at times, no matter how terrible our sins might be, God’s arms are always open to us. Jesus never approves of the sin, but he always embraces the sinner.
C. I could just hear a few of the people, when Jesus was telling his stories, making a few side comments like:
i. These stories are crazy!
ii. This God is ridiculous!
iii. Leave 99 good sheep to go after one stupid stray?
iv. That’s not very good business sense.
v. If I were the father I would stick it to that son.
vi. I would make him crawl back.
vii. This God doesn’t make any sense.
These people were right; our God doesn’t make any sense when it comes to loving us.
D. A final point, very important, comes from a quote by the director of Covenant House, https://www.covenanthouse.org/ a shelter for runaway kids in many large cities in the U.S.
The director of Covenant says, “The kids we work with have a lot of questions…
‘Can I have something to eat? I haven’t had a good thing to eat in days,’ a 17-year-old boy asked me last night.
‘Can I sleep here? Where can I sleep?’ another kid asked an hour later. I think she may have been twelve. These questions come easy to them. They are the questions that a street kid asks every day, minute to minute. But what gets to me is the question they don’t ask. The one that hides deep in the eyes they turn away from you, the one that shows in nervous fingers. This is the question that comes from living a lifetime of days when you can’t seem to do anything right. It is, ‘