The ‘End of the Great Rebellion’

Henri Nouwen takes the greatest lessons of the Christian experience and presents them in ways that are digestible and inspiring. That is a difficult feat. His classic, The Return of the Prodigal Son, is dripping with gems that I can’t stop thinking about. For example:

“The world’s love is and always will be conditional.”

“‘Addiction’ might be the best word to explain the lostness that so deeply permeates contemporary society.”

“I am the prodigal son every time I search for unconditional love where it cannot be found.”

The Return of the Prodigal Son, Rembrandt

When describing the painting above, Nouwen says, “I now see how much more is taking place than a mere compassionate gesture toward a wayward child. The great event I see is the end of the great rebellion. The rebellion of Adam and all the descendants is forgiven, and the original blessing by which Adam received everlasting life is restored.”

Yes, yes, yes. The Lord’s arms are open wide; there is rest and surrender in those arms. I am restored to sonship. I am accepted. I am taken in.

Return from your wandering in the distant lands and your fruitless search for unconditional love that cannot be found anywhere but in Him. God is love, the miracle of his love for you is and has always been available. Follow the prodigal’s example and return. It is never too late.

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