Over the last several weeks, I have been leading a class discussing Timothy Keller’s The Prodigal God and the implications of Jesus’ parables found in Luke 15 – the lost sheep, coin and sons.
In each of the illustrations there is a celebration of the lost being found. In the final parable, the celebration begins when the younger son “comes to his senses” and returns. Jesus tells us of his expectations. He would apologize and then ask for a job – working for the father and having enough to eat. Most of us would say that his expectations were hopeful and maybe reasonable. But Jesus shatters our expectations. Again.
In most of our lives, our expectations of family reunions fall painfully short, yet when the younger son returns the father runs to him, embraces him and kisses him. The younger son received something unexpected.
I thought about the unexpected reaction this week as I heard David Crowder’s version of How He Loves Us this week. The original song contained a line “so heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss”. Honestly, the line made me a little uncomfortable and I was interested to see how Crowder handled the lyric. His version refers to something unexpected – a surprise – “so heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss.”
This morning we talked about how the Salvation of God is experiential. This brings me back to the younger son. He expected something very different than what he received. He expected a legal agreement. Work for pay. He received the father’s love and mercy and restoration to his position in the family. An unforeseen kiss.