We’ve all been crippled by failure, hurt, disappointment, loss, or opposition at some time. But Mike Foster shows us that God offers every one of us a second chance through his love. The feelings of insecurity, fear, shame, not measuring up, and judgment. That. Stops. Today.
- Luke 15:11-24
“It’s Party Time!”
“Heavy” is the nickname of a musclebound giant of a man with tats inked all over his body. He is thirty-seven years old and currently lives in a halfway house for parolees, having finished serving a thirteen-year sentence for armed robbery.
The road Heavy faces to becoming a productive and self-sustaining member of society is steep. Statistically, the chances of Heavy ending up back in jail are high. So we at People of the Second Chance wanted to change the script for him. We decided to take a page from the prodigal son story and throw a party for Heavy.
We invited our friends to come. We reached out to officials from the justice system and ex-cons who had turned their lives around. Heavy’s pastor showed up, and so did one of Heavy’s cousins, whom Heavy was trying to keep from making the same mistakes he had made.
I’m telling you, it was the greatest time! We had cake and gifts. I asked Heavy to share his dreams with everyone.
After he had finished sharing, he pulled me aside and said, “You know what, Mike? That was the first time in my life that I felt like anybody has actually ever listened to me.”
That night we celebrated a felon who needed a party. We watched an ex-con find hope. Fellow prodigals shared their own stories to help Heavy be not so heavy.
The story of the kingdom is found in a raging fiesta for someone who doesn’t deserve one. The father says, “We had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again” (Luke 15:32, niv). The theology of grace is in the party.
The gospel is in the balloons and piñatas, which is made possible only by death and resurrection—the death and resurrection of Jesus and our own death and second-chance resurrection. So let’s party, celebrating our own acceptance by God and spreading the party to others who need it.
How can you bring more celebration into your own life and others’ lives?
[Content Provided By Bible.com]