The story of the Prodigal son is one of the well-known parables of Jesus Christ that ever told to his followers.
The tax collectors and the people the Pharisees and the Scribes considered to be sinners came near to Jesus to hear him and Jesus Christ accommodated them and even ate with them. This action by Jesus caused the Pharisees and the Scribed to complain why Jesus was eating with the sinners.
Jesus responded to the complaint of the Pharisees and the Scribes by telling the parable of the Prodigal Son. He said a man has two sons, and the younger one approached his father and demanded for the share of his inheritance. No need to tell anyone that this demand was rude, and it is like telling his father that I wish you were dead.
The father granted his younger son’s demand and gave him his portion of his inheritance. Not too long after receiving his part of the inheritance, the boy took off on a long journey into a far country.
Let us imagine a young boy from a small town like Vernon, Texas left home for Houston, Texas or Austin, Texas or even Dallas, Texas. We all know he is in for a rude awakening because life is different.
The prodigal son on getting to the city threw a lot of parties, he was well known, and he had a lot of friends. He enjoyed himself and squandered his inheritance in a reckless living. The unexpected happened, he ran out of money and all his friends deserted him and none will give him anything.
Modern generation, do your thing and suffer the consequences later. Street live is a dangerous business. He is now broke, starving, and extremely far from home.
He got a job as a caretaker of pigs. This is a job that no self-respecting Jew would ever consider doing. Despite taking this job, he is still hungry, depressed, and desperate. Now he realizes his folly and coming to his senses, he decided to return to his father.
Even in our society today, some of our young people are rebelling at society in different ways. Some of it is violent, some of it is destructive, and some of it is justified.
The younger son planned out how he would approach his father by saying “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”
Jesus Christ used stories to illustrate his preaching and spiritual truths. The Prodigal son story is a picture of all of us. Have we gone astray? Think about it.
Almighty Father has generously given each of us a gift. Do you just run off with your gift that God has given you? How do you use your gift? Do you use it to better others in your surroundings? God has placed some of us in the authority positions or influential positions, how are you using your found power? How are you using your wealth? Have you been kind to the weak, and the poor? Have you left the God’s house to find your own freedom?
Like the Prodigal son, all of us are running away from something. We missed God’s plan for our lives. We are all baptized or confirmed Christians but deep inside there is a void and not sure of why we are running away from God’s callings.
Brothers and sisters let us reflect on our actions and look deeper into ourselves and see what it is. Are you lost? Let us use this season of Lent to repent of all our sins. Through the Grace of God, we can make changes in our lives and like the Prodigal son we can say to ourselves “I will get up and go to my father and began the journey home.”
The Prodigal son humbled himself and became sorry, no traces of arrogance, he realized his sin. He embarked on a journey back home, he was filled with shame.
But while he was far off his father saw him and had compassion for him and ran and embraced him and kissed him. The son said to him “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, I am no longer worthy to be called your son, please accept me as one of your servants.”
The father said quickly to his servants “Bring the best robe and put it on him, and put ring on his finger, and shoes on his feet. He instructed them to kill a fatten cow and started a nice barbeque party.” The eldest son was coming and when he had the commotion, he asked his father’s servants what was going on and when they told him he got mad and refused to go inside the house. The father went, begged the eldest son, and encouraged him to rejoice as well because his brother was dead and now alive, he was lost and is now found.
The father in this parable is God.
The father was waiting for his wayward son, and when he saw him, he did not wait for him to get home, he ran to hold his boy once again. The son thought he must earn his father’s care by working as an employee, but not with the father, he showed compassion,
Is this not wonderful? It is not just because the father loves his son but because this is how God looks for you and me. Our God wants us to acknowledge that we are sinners and when he sees us coming, he will welcome us in His Forgiving Arms.
Jesus is telling us with this parable today that God the Father loves us, he rejoices for us to come back home, He wants to give us peace and guidance in our lives. The first thing we must do is to repent from our sins and change our ways and walk towards His calling.
I encourage you to receive Christ into your life and repent from your sins. God is ready to forgive you of your sins. Some of us might say, I have gone too far and done many terrible things, would God still welcome me? Today, Jesus is telling us, Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Almighty God is waiting for you to make that move.
Our God is not a judgmental God, He is a Loving God. and He is willing to forgive you because this is why His only son Jesus Christ died on the cross to take away our sins.
Today, God calls us to return to Him, and He is ready to forgive us of our sins.
In the book of Common Prayers, we read that as Christians we are to represent Christ and His Church to bear witness to Him wherever we might be. We cannot do this without our relationship with God and each other.
I encourage all of you to receive and accept Christ into your life and our God is reaching out to you and hoping you will return to Him.
Our Lord and the angels rejoice when we return to Him. God’s love is unconditional whether we get it right or not all the time. God does not expect us to be perfect. Is that not beautiful? No pressure on how to serve God.
Let us assume some of us do not relate to the younger son, if you have always been faithful to God, can you relate to the eldest son? Do you expect to be respected or recognized more in the church, because you are more faithful than others? This is what the Pharisees were grumbling about that led Jesus to tell this parable. When we think of ourselves like this, we are missing the important fact that we are all sinners, and we all need to repent of our sins and return to God.
We are serving a Loving, Merciful, Welcoming and a Forgiving God. Our Lord sees no difference and He is the Lord that accepts us the way we are in our journey of faith.
If you agree with what I have just said, then God is calling you to come to Him, His Arms are open to accept you, He is only asking for your heart, and to repent of all your sins.
Are you ready to come home to Him? I encourage you to accept Christ today.
Open your heart and let God’s Arm enfold you. Amen.