We are finding the work of the Lord powerful and strong in our midst. God seems to have a very big plan. A big dream. That dream is to equip pastors and lay-leaders in practical heart-transformational strengths.
CCIM is currently in Uganda and in the dozen or so churches we have been to in the past three weeks, we are finding a readiness for the pure gospel message.
We have been sharing about Sulha. Taking our cue from Jesus’ telling of the story of the lost son found in Luke 15 beginning with verse 11.
We find in this story secrets of the Kingdom of heaven, made plain to us by Jesus himself. He tells us of a young man who goes to the lowest of the low, unable to stoop or fall any farther, a young man who ultimately turns toward his father and takes himself home.
We are then introduced to the father. A man who longs for his son to come home. That no matter the hurt or betrayal or immense offence and insult of the son, the father’s priority always was and is peace and reconciliation.
The father demonstrates this love by running toward the son the moment he is seen coming down the road. We are told the father saw him from a long way off. And he begins to run.
It is interesting to note that in middle-eastern culture important men do not run. But this father ran, throwing off his importance to head toward his son. It is also interesting to note that in order to run the father would have had to lift his skirts, revealing his ankles, a no-no in the culture. And so we see that the father also threw off his dignity in order to run toward his son.
Thirdly, a study of the culture would suggest that due to the great offence of the son, it would have been considered appropriate and just even, for the villagers to stone the son before he reached home, by way of retributive justice. But we see the father running toward the son to intercept the stones and to take them upon himself.
Of course, we realize that Jesus is painting a picture of Father God. And we know that the living out of this heart of The Father was accomplished by Jesus Christ on the cross where he threw off both his importance and his dignity to take on the stones meant for us.
We see, that God has always been about peace and reconciliation.
“For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. Se we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 2 Corinthians 5:19-20