I will die by your hand.
Hope you find out what you are --
Already know what I am.
And if it makes you less sad,
We'll start talking again.
You can tell me how vile
I already know that I am.
LUKE 15:11-31, the Message.
Everyone knows the story of the prodigal son. This guy basically wished his father dead, took his money and ran off to spend it on whatever he wanted. He lived according to his own will, and then, when it was seemingly too late, realized his mistake. He ended up a pig-slopper, feeding the swine nasty food that he would have eaten himself, given the opportunity. He knew it was time to go home, but going home after running away is a scary thing.
v.18 - "I'll say to him, Father, I've sinned against God, I've sinned before you; I don't deserve to be called your son. Take me on as a hired hand."
And then, no delay, he goes home. Picture this guy walking home (cause he definitely can't afford a taxi) in dirty, disgusting clothes, repeating his apology to himself over and over to make sure he had it down. I've sinned. I'm sorry. I've sinned. I'm sorry. I've sinned. I'm sorry. He's really beating himself up.
When he gets back home (v.20), his dad runs up to meet him while he's still far off. Robes flapping, rings shining, sandals kicking up clouds of dirt, this man runs to his son. And the son starts his speech. Without possibly being able to get any more humble than he is, dressed in rags and smelling like pigs, he starts his speech.
v.22 - But the father wasn't listening.
BUT THE FATHER WASN'T LISTENING.
He heard his son's words, sure, but they weren't necessary. The apology wasn't what the father was concerned with. His son had come back, and he had come back repentant. Sorry. Wanting to start over. That was enough. He knew his son's heart, and so he forgave him instantly. It wasn't time to wallow in everything the son had done wrong. It was time for a party.
God's not waiting for some fancy speech from you. He doesn't need you to clean yourself up, to fix all your mistakes, to get things right before you return to him. He just wants you to come home.
there's power in the blood of Jesus / and your Father's screaming 'JUST COME HOME' / He's reaching out His hands