Luke 15:20 (ESV)
And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
I remember growing up at night when my brothers and I would gather at the top of the stairs for my dad to read or tell us a story and then pray before we got into bed. Stories are something that help us all learn and imagine and wonder. Jesus told great stories, and many of them are parables about living as part of God’s family in this world.
One of the best-known parables of Jesus is this story in Luke 15 about the lost son, often called the “prodigal son.” But this story could also be called the parable of the loving Father.
A young man looking for adventure takes his dad’s money, his inheritance, and leaves home. He wastes the money foolishly and loses everything. He learns that the adventure he wanted didn’t really satisfy, and that people can be shallow and harsh. He also learns what it means to be hungry. The young man turns toward home, not really believing anyone will want him. But he is willing to work as a hired servant. What he discovers is the love and forgiveness of his father and a genuine, gracious welcome.
There are times in our lives when we crave adventure. We jump into something that we think will bring us pleasure, only to find ourselves alone and afraid. As he tells this parable, Jesus invites us all to come home to God’s forgiveness.
Dear Lord, thank You for forgiveness and for the reminder that You open Your arms wide and run to us. Help us to turn around from wherever we find our self and come home to You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.