I know parents of children that somewhere along the line, something dramatic happened, and the parents and their children became estranged. Years have gone by and neither the parent or the child have spoken to each other or even know how the other is doing in their lives. I knew one father who loved his son so much and would have done anything for him. I never knew what happened that caused them to no longer speak to one another; however, this man was now up in age and I can see in his eyes the longing to see his son and be with him.
In Matthew 1:18-25, the Apostle tells the story about how the angel appeared to Joseph to tell him to continue with his plans to marry Mary. Joseph does obey and accepts that Mary is carrying God’s son and not his son. As I read and re-read the amazing story of Jesus’ birth, I am reminded of how much God loves us. I always said that if God had a mission statement it would be John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son and whoever believes in him will have eternal life.” The reason is because God doesn’t want us to be estranged from him. God wants to be near us and with us – in everything and everywhere. By sending his Son, Jesus, we have the possibility to have that close relationship with God. We have been given the gift of mercy, grace, and the forgiveness of sin. This gift breaks the barrier of our estrangement to God!
Just as the father who is longing for his son to come back to him, God longs for us and loves us so much that God gave His Son to the world.
Let us pray, Gracious God, we love you so much and do not want to be estranged from you. We give you thanks and praise for your gifts of grace and mercy. Lord, if we are estranged from our children, we pray that you will help us to find our way back to them. We pray that you are with them, even if we cannot. In your name we pray, Amen.