Read Luke 15:20-24
20 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. 21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.
22 “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23 And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, 24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began. (NLT)
Just think of what might have happened when this prodigal son came back home. His father might have slammed the door in his face and taken solace in the company of his other son who never gave him any trouble.
Or he could have pursed his lips, folded his arms and proceeded to give this young man a stern lecture on his wrongdoing. And then grudgingly motioned him to come inside and endure cold family disapproval even if he did now have a roof over his head.
Or perhaps a slightly warmer welcome, a small smile before gently reminding the boy that he was now back home but a period of probation was required before he could really feel at home.
Nothing of the sort happened. The father had longingly waited for this homecoming and when it happened, he celebrated. No moralising lectures, no reluctant welcome, no rejection. Which is what happens when any one of us comes to his or her senses and comes back home to the Father. We may think we are too far gone, but we are not. We may think we will cower before a vengeful, displeased God, but we will not.
It seems that when we repent, God throws a party for us.