Abounding in Hope
Verse 20 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.
The saga has taken a drastic turn and we are headed back to where it all began, the home of the father. Let’s take a look again from the father’s view of things.
Since this wasn’t an age of information it would be doubtful that the father would have had any information about his wayward son. He may not have even found out where the son had headed. He didn’t know what had become of the son or even if he was still alive. But few dads only care about their kids when they know where they are and what they are doing. This father shows his love in a very touching way.
Let’s take a quick glance at our boy who is making his way home. Before he even started his journey he had started rehearsing what he would say to his dad to beg forgiveness and to ask for a job as a servant. Remember, this was a faraway country and so this speech of repentance is well rehearsed.
Imagine the dad over the years looking up that road hoping to see a familiar stride. Maybe his hope waned some over time but hope was still there. And then came the day. The dad blinks a few times thinking he is seeing things. But he can’t deny it, his son is headed his way! He can’t wait! He picks up his robes so he doesn’t trip as he runs to embrace his long lost son. Yes, he looked undignified to the neighbors and it probably knocked him down a few pegs in their esteem but he didn’t care because this is what he had hoped for since the day his son first ran away. He loved his son and was filled with compassion.
That is when his son starts pouring out his perfectly rehearsed words of repentance. But his father totally ignores his speech and instead calls for the biggest party they had seen in recent days. Notice there is a fattened calf so the famine hasn’t seemed to reach this land.
We are often the wayward child in God’s family. We live in ways we know He wouldn’t approve of and we don’t even care that He won’t like what we are doing. If we are His children we will always have the Holy Spirit working in our hearts to draw us back home. But repentance is the key component.
Making It Personal
What times in your life have you lived far from home spiritually? What kind of reception from God did you find when you repented? Have you been as ready to run away to do your own thing since coming back?
Making It Personal Kids
Have you ever missed mom and dad so much you can’t wait to see them? Have you ever noticed how happy your mom and dad are when you have been apart for the day? Have you ever wondered if God is excited when you talk to Him?
Father, thank You for wanting us back no matter what we have done. Thank You for wanting to hear our repentant prayers. Please help us want to be in Your presence forever. In Jesus’ name, amen.