Today we extend a warm welcome to our
Guest Speaker; Winifredo Paez, PhD.
Dr. Paez is a retired professor, and school administrator.
He is a graduate of Mountain View College
(an Adventist College in Southern Philippines.)
Dr. Paez served the Adventist education institution
for 39 years in various areas of responsibility;
At Naga View Adventist College he served as a
Farm Manager being an Agriculturist, Dormitory Dean,
Guidance Counselor, and Dean of Student Affairs.
Dr. Paez was later called to serve as VP for Student
Services at the Adventist University of the Philippines,
where he served for six years until he retired.
He has been married to Melgie Paez for 38 years,
they have four children (all graduates of Adventist
education) and three grandchildren.
“Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Proverbs 22:6 NKJV
The Father Who Runs
Rembrandt’s massive painting, The Return of the Prodigal Son,
hangs on the walls of the St. Petersburg Hermitage Museum.
It is one of the last paintings the artist ever completed
and remains one of his most loved works.
In the painting the elderly father is shown leaning in an
embrace of his kneeling son in ragged shoes and torn clothes.
With his back toward us, the son faces the father, his head
bowed in regret. The father reaches out with both hands, his
eyes on the son, his entire body inclining toward him.
The painting is res$ul, but the parable is anything but res$ul.
Jesus tells us that while the son was “still a long way off,” the
father saw him and “was filled with compassion for
him” (Luke 15:20). This father was literally moved by his
compassion. Dramatically, the father runs to the son,
embraces him, and kisses him. Jesus described a scene far more
abrupt and shocking than that depicted by Rembrandt. It is not
the son whom we find kneeling, but the father. It is the father
who runs to his wayward son — runs without any assurance of
repentance; runs without any promise that the son is even
home to stay. There is a line in Jewish tradition that would likely
have entered the minds of the first hearers of this parable.
According to ancient thought, the manner of a man’s walk
“shows what he is.” Dignified men in this ancient culture simply
did not run. In order to do so, long robes would have had to be
li7ed up, exposing the legs, which was inherently shameful.
And yet, this father runs to the son who had blatantly disrespected
him, and eagerly embraces the one who once disowned
him. All measures of decorum are sha9ered by
this father’s great love.
God is that father – He is your Father. And He is moving toward
you with a gait that thoroughly counters any thought of a
distant and absent Father. However far we wander, God
is waiting and ready for our return. More than this, He is the
Father who runs to close the distance.