This paragraph was from on early draft of my sermon from last week. I ended up rewriting it, but I like this version too.
God is the good shepherd that goes out and finds his sheep. Why would he do something like that? The analogy is like a good parent who loves his children. His kid gets lots in the woods – he goes and finds him. His kid is really sick and throwing up at school, the mom comes picks him up and tucks him into bed. The kid fell off his bike and cut himself all up. What does the dad do? “Oh, time for lunch, see you later?” No, he drops what he’s doing and cleans him up and bandages his wounds. The kid is thrown in jail for drunk driving. Do you just leave him there or do you post his bail? Though there may be a time for leaving him there to learn a lesson and maybe God does this sort of thing to us sometimes (hard to say), this isn’t what we see with the father in the parable of the prodigal son. No, he comes running to embrace the son when he comes back home, before he’s even had a chance to give his “I’m sorry” speech. What was he going to say? Who cares. The father rejoices at his return and throws a party. He is glad. The sin? Forgotten.