We are a strange species. We can create things of incredible beauty We can push ourselves to extraordinary limits. We can understand the depths of the universe. We can even heal the sick. Yet, all too often the things we value most slip through our fingers and we seem powerless to stop them.

Some of us know what we have done

For some, breaking things has become a way of life. We may not know what the triggers are anymore, but we know that we are destroying ourselves. Often our behaviour is driven by drink or substance abuse. We may no longer be clear as to how we started on that path. Perhaps all that is left is a haze of hurt from the distant past.

In our sober moments, we know that it is not just ourselves that we are hurting. Perhaps there are still others there, trying to pull us back, or perhaps even they have gone now. It’s hard, but we know what we are.

Some of us don’t know what we’ve done

For some, our lives appear successful. We may have created things of great beauty or understood the depths of the universe. We have friends, and even those that could be called admirers.

Yet what we crave the most – intimate relationship with other humans – has somehow escaped us. We have enjoyed it for a while only to see it crumble in front of us. However much we try to analyse what has happened, we struggle to understand. Is this something that we’ve inherited? Have we been unfortunate in who we’ve chosen to be close to? Is it a consequence of how we have behaved?

There isn’t always a way back

We have to be honest. If you break a plate, you may never be able to repair it. Even if you do, it’s unlikely to look as good as it once did. That can happen in our relationships too. Even if we do everything possible to put them right, the other person may not want to come back.

However difficult it may be, there are times when we have to walk away. That doesn’t mean that the future is without hope, but that it must be built on different relationships.

Except, there is always a way back

One of the most remarkable stories in the Bible is a story Jesus told of a prodigal son – a son who took his inheritance early and blew it on wild living. When everything had gone, he found a job feeding pigs. He decided to go home and beg that he be taken in as a servant. It’s what happens next that makes the story remarkable:

So he got up and went to his father.

‘But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms round him and kissed him.
‘The son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.”

‘But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” So they began to celebrate.

You can read the full story in chapter 15 of the gospel of Luke.

While our relationships with one another break, sometimes irreparably, there is one relationship that can always be restored. Whatever we have done, wherever we have been, there is always a way back to our Heavenly Father. While our father on earth may not always have been there for us, our Father in heaven is always waiting for us.

And that leads to another way back

Once our relationship with God is as it should be, we have built the foundation for better relationships with one another. Often it is possible to go back to the relationships that have disappointed us and rebuild them. Sometime it isn’t, but there is always the opportunity to build new relationships.

To find out more

Come visit and talk to one of us, email us (church@thcc.org.uk) or learn some more about Jesus by reading Mark’s gospel.