Bible Reading: Luke 15:11-24

“‘For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found’. And they began to celebrate.” (Luke 15:24)

We’ve probably memorised the parable of the prodigal son since our Sunday school days. The storyline goes something like this. An insolent and rebellious teenager finally decides that he’s had enough of his dad’s restricting laws. He wanted to have fun, to be free and enjoy all the world had to offer. His poor dad was heartbroken but could do nothing. The son demanded his inheritance, implicitly saying to his father, “please die soon, I want your money”. With that, he fled with glee into what he thought was eternal freedom. He was happy until he realised his money was not eternal. Devastated by the fact that he did not have a single penny to spare, he found himself working in a pigsty, envying pig pallets. 

Soon enough, the son started to wonder, “back at my dad’s place, I was fed and had a roof over my head. But man, how do I go back after being such a brat? If only my dad would accept me back — maybe as a servant perhaps”. He walked home, head down, reconciling with the fact that he would most likely be rejected, and rightly so. However, from afar, his dad waited, cried and longed for his lost son to return home. And when he did one day, this dad ran like a child with pure elation, forgetting he was a grown man. He embraced his child, who at this point resembled no more than a homeless beggar. “My son!” the father cried. And with that, the son was brought home like a king with a ring on his finger and a cloak on his back. A fattened calf was slain, and a celebratory feast was announced. 

In theory, we know that this story refers to the lost sinner who was finally saved. Yet, have we ever imagined ourselves in the shoes of the son? If we take a look at our life journey, can we see that every one of our lives resembles the son’s journey?

How similar are you to the insolent and disrespectful son? How rebellious and stiff-necked are we before our God? How often do we winge to Him for blessings just to spoil them with worldly pleasures that clearly displease God? How many times over have we rejected our Creator’s plan and purpose in our lives, thinking our own ways would provide eternal freedom to God’s seemingly restrictive laws? Our lives precisely mirror the son’s life. 

Yet, look at the father. His arms are always wide open. His heart ached when his child left, yet he longed for his child to return day after day. Though his child was rebellious, he still loved him. And so is our God, just so much more beyond what we can imagine. God loves us. God loves us even when we rebel against Him. He’s got a plan to bring us home. That plan involved Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. That is Jesus, God’s begotten Son. Have we returned to Him? And if we have, what was God’s response? Did He reject us? No, in His grace, He invites us home as his children and prepares a throne of glory for us in Heaven. Who is a God like our God? What more can we do but praise Him for who He is? May God help us to understand more and more about His love and special care for His children. 

Lord, thank You for who You are. Forgive us, for, in reality, we are unworthy to be adopted as Your children. Thank You that You do not forsake us. Instead, You loved us so much that You want us to return to You, making it possible through Christ. Teach us what it means to truly repent and give our whole lives to You. Help us get to know You more and draw our hearts to love You more as You have loved us. In Jesus’ name, amen.