Scripture Reading — Luke 15:11-32
"I will set out and go back to my father ..." Luke 15:18 —
G. K. Chesterton tells the story of an English sailor who miscalculated his course and thought he'd discovered a new land in the South Seas. Ready to plant the British flag and claim the land as New South Wales, he'd actually landed back in his homeland. In search of the new, he had discovered the old. And for the first time he saw what he had left behind. Jesus tells a parable about a young man who made a similar discovery. He headed off to a "distant country" where he thought life would be great. Wine, women, and song looked more attractive than plowing his father's fields. But one day the prodigal son came to his senses. He returned home to discover the amazing welcome of his forgiving Father. Prodigal means "lavish," and what we discover is that the love of our heavenly Father is more prodigal--more lavish--than our sin. God's children come home to discover that life in the Father's house is what they've craved all along. Some of us are in a "distant country" today. We've wandered far from our spiritual home. We've sailed far from the land of grace, and it's time to turn our ship around and head home. When we do, we'll discover that our heavenly Father has been waiting and watching for our return. He has the lights on and is calling us to come home.
Father, we know you are watching and waiting for us. Forgive us for wandering so far away. Thank you for calling and receiving us back again into your family. In Jesus, Amen.