Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Returning with Joy

The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:17-20

I remember vividly my walk home from school. With living in the same town now, the sounds and smells often remind me of my school days and how it was to be a child and teenager in this place. Some days I liked to linger on my walk home just to enjoy the air and avoid the beginning of homework. It was only a few blocks. And other days, bursting with news or some accomplishment, I would rush home to the waiting arms of my mother and regal her with the good news. There were also some days when I slunk home, embarrassed or ashamed. MY foolishness or a mistake had caught up with me and I had to face the music. In all of it, I knew I could go home, and no matter what I did, I was loved and welcomed. I might have to accept the consequences of a certain behavior, but no one was ever going to send me away, reject me or turn their love from me.

I imagine that the seventy-two returned to Jesus with the light steps, almost skipping like children returning home to a warm, loving home felt bursting with good news and excited that God was working in their lives giving them the power to serve others. And Jesus reminded them how blessed they were to be loved and secured in the family of God. No matter whether it is a great day or a day full of challenges, we can skip home, rejoicing like children knowing we are welcomed into the family of God.

Today, I ask God to help me remember that no matter the challenge or disappointment of the day, we are welcomed everyday into the family and home of God with open, warm and loving arms. We are not judged but welcomed with joy. May we all rejoice today in that secure knowledge that we are in God's family and full of the gifts and strength of God's line.

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