The repentant sinner rejoices at being found in the loving embrace of the Father’s full, free, and “foolish” forgiveness. Even though our sin should separate us from the family of God, he welcomes us back into the family with the full rights sons. To the self-righteous, this seems foolish, even offensive. But for the loving Father this is cause for celebration.
Historically, the Fourth Sunday in Lent has been called Laetare Sunday. “Laetare” is Latin for, “rejoice,” and is the first word in the Introit, This Sunday has been viewed as a sort of respite from the sorrowful season of Lent. This Sunday also marks the halfway point to Good Friday, and is the first time Jerusalem is mentioned in the Divine Service during Lent. We can see the end of Jesus’ time on earth approaching as we near Jerusalem.