Our Father's Rejoicing

by Charles E. Harrel

The Sunday morning service had ended earlier than normal. As I headed for the front doors of the sanctuary exit, I noticed a church member approaching rapidly, steering an intersecting course toward me. For a moment, I considered quickening my pace to hasten my escape to the parking lot. However, I decided to wait and see what he wanted. He slapped me on the back shoulder, his way of greeting people, and said, "That was a good one; the best service we've ever had." With my interest sparked, I inquired, "What made the service so good?" He replied with a smile, "The worship was just the way I like it." His reply lacked an important consideration: Worship is not about what we like or us; it's about our God and what pleases Him.

Worship is a vital part of every Christian's life. In worship, we rejoice by giving our praise, adoration, and honor to God. Worship is vital to the heavenly Father as well, and He is earnestly seeking individuals interested in true worship, where the focus is pleasing Him. "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him" (John 4:23 nkjv). One day, these true worshipers will arrive in heaven and join together for a great day of rejoicing-but will the greatest rejoicing actually be coming from them?

The parable of the lost son from Luke reveals it is the father who does the greater rejoicing. "And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.' But the father said to his servants, Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' And they began to be merry. Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing" (Luke 15:18-25 nkjv).

When the father saw his prodigal son coming home, he could hardly wait to shower him with kisses of affection. The celebration that followed is full of rejoicing, adoration, joy, and dancing. Likewise, our homecoming in heaven will also be filled with festivity, but our rejoicing will be modest compared to the celebration planned by the heavenly Father.

One day you will arrive at your heavenly home, find it filled with the Father's rejoicing, and see that He has reserved the first dance for you.

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