Imagine yourself one of the homeless of our Nation’s streets. The dirty, disheveled one passed out on the bench. Your skin looks like leather, your hair is wild, your clothes stained and worn. A coherent thought can’t stay in your head. The search for the next meal and a place to sleep keeps you moving. Addiction and fear are your closest companions. Warm showers and clean clothes are luxuries you crave. Threats to your health and person come from all sides at all times. You can never let your guard down; you can never really rest. Fatigue and anxiety never leave your side.
But then one day that all changes. A wealthy man driving a Masurati invites you to take a ride. He takes you home and the doors are open wide. His place is beautiful and immaculate. You are invited to soak in his bath. Attendants look to every detail of your care: hair cut, mani-pedi, that broken tooth is finally taken care of. You get a massage and nap for hours in a comfortable bed with freshly scented sheets. A set of clothes tailored specifically for you are delivered to your bedroom door. Your old clothes are gone.
The strangest thing though is that this man appears to delight in your company. He seats you at his table and the finest of food is set before you. Think filet mignon with a truffle sauce and his most expensive bottle of red.
Then he begins to tell you of his intentions. “Now,” you think, “here’s the catch. I should know better. Nothing in this world is free.” But what he tells you, comes as a shock. He is your father and he wants you to come home. He wants to provide for you. It doesn’t matter to him what your past is. There is nothing that you could ever do that would keep him from loving you. What is your answer?
Who is this “man?” He’s not; he is God. He has knows your every thought. And for that matter, you are his idea, his creation. He is the giver of life, the source of your very breath, the beat of your heart. When Jesus died on the Cross and rose from the dead, he did it for you. He is the one who invites you off the dirty streets and into his home. Salvation is offered. What is your answer?
Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord is my strength and my song; be has become my salvation. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. Isaiah 12:2-3
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his love endures forever…Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to the Lord through which the righteous may enter. I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation. Psalm 118:1…19-21.