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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.
story is most often called "The Parable of the Prodigal Son." I guess
that makes sense since the story line follows the son, and most of us
probably identify more strongly with the son. The main idea of the
story, however, seems to be centered in the character of the father. He
was willing to let the son leave him, but he longed for the son to
come to his senses and be restored. He ran to welcome the son when he
returned, and he rejoiced and threw a party to celebrate the reunion
with his estranged son. It was like receiving his son back from the
Response and Action:
recognize that God has given me the freedom to honor and serve him, or
to wander and reject him. I believe that when I turn away from him,
he longs for me to return and be restored. I want to have the wisdom
to come home to God and to live for him. I must give thanks to God for
his goodness in extending forgiveness and reconciliation to me.
will share God's love for my brothers and sisters who are wandering. I
will do what I can to find them and bring them back home. With God, I
long for them to return and find their place in his family. When they
return, I will run alongside God to welcome them. I will celebrate
their restoration and renewal.
thank you for welcoming me home. Thank you for your redeeming and
saving love for all people. Thank you for giving your son, that whoever
believes in him might have eternal life. Give me your heart for those
who have wandered or turned away from you. Give me a readiness to
reach out to them and to run to meet them with your gracious welcome.
Through Christ, I pray. Amen.
Spiritual Formation Verses:
1 John 3:1a
1a How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
by Timothy Keller