“But while the prodigal was still far off, the father saw his child and was filled with compassion; he ran and embraced his child.” – Luke 15:20
You know the story of the Prodigal Son.
You may not know the chapter and verse location of the story in the gospels. You may not remember all the details or the exact lines of dialogue.
It’s possible you have never heard the story, but you know it anyway.
You know the story and I know the story because we have lived it.
We have all had those moments when we feel lost and out of sorts. We know what it feels like to feel disconnected. There are times in our lives when we distant or even separated from friends and loved ones. I am sure I am not the only one who has experienced a moment when I don’t feel like myself, or like the kind of person I want to be.
The story of the Prodigal Son is a story about those moments in our lives and the decision we face. What will do when the world we inhabit doesn’t seem to make any sense and we realize that we have somehow ended up in a place where we don’t want to be? What will we believe about ourselves, about our situation, about our loved ones, and about God?
Will we acknowledge our insecurities and worries? Will we name our fear and own our mistakes? Will we turn towards love?
In the story (Luke 15:11-32) there are two sons who encounter such a moment. The trappings and details of the individual moments of decision look very different but at the core the question that faces both of them is the same.
Will they trust in and return to God?
Will they choose to live love?
The prodigal thought “I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your child; treat me like one of your hired hands.”’ So the prodigal set off for the father. But while the prodigal was still far off, the father saw his child and was filled with compassion; he ran and embraced his child.”
For both sons, the loving and gracious God beckons them and is eager to welcome them (for this reason I think it’s better to call this story, “The Story of the Gracious Father”).
And the same God is eager to welcome us into love divine.
I encourage you to find online or in your music collection, the song based upon this scripture, “O God How We Have Wandered”.