I have been challenged by reading the parables of the lost sheep, a lost coin and a lost son. The stories are in Luke’s Gospel Ch15 v1-32. The parables teach us something of how God feels about us with all our imperfections and follies.
But more than that, they tell us that if we can look into the heart of any human being, even into our own heart, we can look into the heart of God. Of course, human hearts can be embittered, hurt, twisted, and we must make allowance for this. But if we are willing to let our imagination sweeten the bitterness, soothe the hurt, straighten out what is twisted, then we can learn something of the love of God from everyone we meet. That offensive neighbour who does our head in; that annoying work colleague who irritates us to death; that person who’s lifestyle seems contrary to the teachings of our faith; even that violent and vicious criminal who has just received a very long prison sentence- all have something to tell us about the love of God, if we look at them through the eyes of Jesus.
And if we are to do this effectively, we must remember a saying of Jesus; ‘Do not judge, and you will not be judged.’ It is not for us to judge folk who have wandered away from God, it is our business to pray for them, that like the lost son they may turn back to their heavenly Father. It is our business too, to gaze into our own hearts to ask God to heal and help us to be more loving, compassionate disciples of Christ.
Can we just imagine the change in our churches, families and communities if we loved like Jesus.
With good wishes