express your love

We wrapped up the series on forgiveness last weekend and I am grateful for all of the help I received from all those who were bold enough to open their lives to so many others and share their stories of forgiveness, and thanks to David and Cally Uriarte for their work on the videos. The power of a testimony can never be underestimated.  What struck me this past week was in the final message of forgiveness, as we looked at the story of the prodigal son and how we need to allow forgiveness to work in our lives if we are going to get beyond ourselves and live for a higher purpose.  In the sermon, I relayed the story of the father’s relationship with the two sons and, in particular, the prodigal son's return home and how the Father ran to him, embraced him, and kissed him.
To model that scene in the Bible, in the first service I embraced and kissed my own 20-year old son, and in the second service I embraced and kissed my 17-year old daughter.  Of all that I shared in that sermon, I got more feedback from that illustration.  It really struck a cord with people because so many of us can identify with the son receiving the embrace, while also identifying with the father giving the embrace.
It has caused me to examine my own relationship with my kids: Alec, Abbey and Audrey, and ask myself how often I embrace them, kiss them, and love on them when no one is looking and it isn’t part of a sermon.  Let me put it this way, for those of you who were there you know, it was a strong embrace and unapologetic kisses all over their faces. I haven’t done that very often and not for a very long time.  Sure I have given those quick hugs and pecks, but truly embracing them and expressing my love for them, not so much.  I must do better!
Let me encourage you to express your love and appreciation for your loved ones as well.  There is a reason it impacted so many of us on Sunday, so take up the challenge and offer that which you yourselves want, desire and need.