For this son of mine was dead and is alive again;
he was lost and is found.’
He never stopped looking for his son to return home. He watched the road expectantly, wondering, is this the day? Is this the day my beloved son comes home?
He was a wealthy man and had two sons. In Jewish tradition, a father had to die for an inheritance to be given. He was clearly alive the day his younger son approached him with the question that broke his heart.
He asked his father to give him his inheritance even though his father was still alive, the son wanted the inheritance now. He had plans, places to go, people to see and he needed money for these things.
His father said yes and watched him leave. The Bible tells us that the son squandered all of it on reckless living. Then a famine hit and he was in need. The money was gone, he didn’t feel he could return home but he needed to eat. So he took a job feeding pigs hoping they would share their food with him.
It wasn’t long before he realized that he might be better off returning home and begging for a servant’s job from his father.
He headed home, ashamed, humbled, broken. He wasn’t prepared for the greeting he received.
His father, watching the road, saw him approach and feeling compassion for him, embraced him and kissed him.
And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate.
For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’
And they began to celebrate.
The son underestimated his father’s love for him. The robe and the ring and the shoes and the party all told the son that he was restored. He had a place in the family. In spite of the fact that he didn’t deserve it, and couldn’t earn it. He was forgiven and welcomed home.
We have all sinned and gone our own way and probably many times doubted whether coming home is an option. Will God welcome me back with open arms and give me a place in His family? Or have I gone too far?
This story tells us that God is watching and waiting to welcome us back into His loving arms no matter how far and how long we have been gone. His desire is to restore us and forgive us and celebrate our return.
Thank You Father for open arms and a forgiving heart. For the times I have doubted Your love and mercy, please forgive me. I pray for the prodigals in my family that You would draw them back to You, heal them, restore them and let them know how much You love them. In Jesus’s name, amen.
I would love to hear from you. Please let me know if I can be praying for you as well.
pic credit: aprilcoon.wordpress.com