Sunday 26th September 2021

Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.
Janet Lane

A glad heart makes a cheerful face.
Proverbs 15:13


Extracted from Spiritual Thoughts    


Thought for the Week - Jacquie Peal.  

SEPTEMBER 23rd 2021
A few years ago, during Holy Week, I was given the task of leading a meditation on Rembrandt's depiction of the Return of the Prodigal Son; a task that made me really look at the painting for the first time and revealing to me a thing of great beauty that had a wonderful story to tell.
Like so many of Rembrandt's paintings all the light glows from some mysterious, invisible source within the main characters, in this case the elderly father and his penitent, destitute son They are caught in a still moment in time, a breathless second of intimate contact that will change their lives forever. We see before us a loving, forgiving father and his egoistic, profligate and, now, utterly broken and penitent child who has, at last,  learned what true love and forgiveness are all about. Just a moment in time, but there is so much life-experience and so much potential for change  distilled into it.
In the shadows behind stands the older son, jealous and unforgiving, not understanding what is going on in his father's loving heart: nearer the front is another young man - who is he? Is he the servant who told the older son what was happening in such a way as to provoke discord and conflict? Is he the fair-faced 'watcher in the shadows' who's aim is to increase unhappiness, destroy harmony and promote division and anger between the loving Father and his erring, penitent children?
We are seeing in this quiet moment the explosive potential for the breakdown of family relationships or for the reuniting of a separated family: potential for joy and harmony or  for separation and misery: what will happen next?
What did happen next was that the father in his love and wisdom spoke firmly, gently and lovingly to his older boy and led him, too, into an understanding of the immensity of his love. He showed him how forgiveness for his brother did not take from himself the safe, secure place that he would always hold within the boundless generosity of his father's loving heart.
Just a moment of stillness but how immense is the love and forgiveness of God that Rembrandt reveals to us in that moment!
With love
Jacquie xxx
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