Sunday at church Addi and Kam were taught the story of the prodigal son. For those who are not familiar with this parable of Christ in Luke 15, Jesus, by way of His story, teaches us of the never-ending mercy and welcome from our Heavenly Father.
The Parable of the Lost Son
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ 20 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 around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.
22 “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. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
This story relates to my life in so many way as I’m sure it may yours too. Often we choose to “do it our own way” and quickly find out that way leads to being lost and in shambles. My reality has lead me to my asking for help, receiving that help and me then feeling shame, guilt and defeat in my actions. Even in receiving His mercy and love I tend to drown myself in pity.
When we picked Addi up from her class Sunday morning she exclaimed “We had a party!!! The prodigal son came home!!!” She continued to tell the people we ran into that day this thing. “We had a party!!! The prodigal son came home!!!”
Growing up listening to the story and even participating in my own version of it, it’s easy to gravitate to the details of the trouble. He took all his money and wasted it. He lost sight of his way and didn’t have focus. He struggled through this period of his life in shame which grew into disaster. He realized he was wrong and was ashamed. He hoped his dad would still welcome him and accept him, even as a servant doing grunt work. Surprisingly to the son, he came home to a steak dinner party and plate full of caring, nurturing, forgiving, and merciful goodness. A party! A celebration!
It’s sad how I often tend to look at the negative side of situations. For me it’s easy to recall the bad in the story of the prodigal son. The squandering for “wild” living, the pigs, the shame, the ruin. I quickly glance through the part of the return and open armed embrace the son and Father share upon their reunion and don’t relish in that positive side of the story. Why is it like this? Am I just so tuned in to trajedy and negative drama that I often overlook the positive successes?
It’s amazing what you can learn from your children. They reveal the simple truths time and time again. “We had a party!!! The prodical son came home!!!” needs to be our attitude. Joy and thankfulness. Positive and jubuliant attitude. Maybe this is part of sanctification (growing to become more like Christ) as I know it is not natural for me to be this way. I really do want to be thought of as a positive person. I truly am grateful for all the mercy that has been extended to me and all the steak parties the Father has thrown in my honor.
Friday night we had the opportunity to attend a concert here in Tyler. Traci and I love concerts and have since the beginnings of our relationship. The band we went to see has a popular song on Christian radio now called “Come Home”. The band is Luminate and they live on our street. :) [Side note: I really want to take them cookies and introduce myself but I think that might be considered creepy.] Anyways, I wanted to share this video and song with you from Friday’s concert (thanks to the camera phone videographer) to maybe encourage you that that Father is always forgiving, always compassionate, always pleading with us to “come home”. No matter where you’ve been or where you are now, He is right there waiting patiently for us to reach out to Him. Waiting to throw a party! Rejoice!