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By Not Known

Parents of adult children can easily identify with Jesus’ parable of the father and
his two sons (Luke 15:11-32).

We may know, or can imagine, the pain of the father. The family business was
threatened as the son wanted to cash up and ship out. The filial bonds were torn
as he went far off and lived the life of a wastrel. These are the times when parents
wring their hearts and hands before the Lord.

This parable explains God’s joyful ‘welcome home‘ when we turn back to him.
(The previous parables have the same theme – Luke 15:1-10).

At first glance the younger son seems to be the central character. He stands for
human beings in our ‘far off‘ place with regard to God. Just like the younger son,
we remove ourselves from our heavenly father’s household by our choice and
actions. Like him, we suffer the consequences.

The turning point in the parable is when the younger son decides to head for
home. In a similar way, we too must decide to turn home to God. That’s the
most important choice of our lives. Today’s outreach services give an opportunity
to do just that.

But look what happens before the son heads for home. He knows that he must turn
home. But he also knows his father. He knows that he can turn home, even if only
to be a hired servant. The father’s love makes his return happen. It is expressed in
a joyful homecoming party.

This is a parable of God’s love. We must realise our need to turn back to God
(repentance). we must say ‘sorry’ (confession). We must trust Christ for the
forgiveness of sin (faith). But we can only do this because God is love and makes it
all possible through his Son Jesus.

When we return to God we realise that his fatherly love was there even in the folly
of our flight. It is his love that protected us and drew us back through every step of
the return.

So, let’s all know that we need to return home and that we can return home.
Let’s celebrate the homecoming that God makes possible, AS a church, let’s side
with the father’s welcome rather than the begrudging jealousy of the older
brother and all that he represents (Luke 15: 1-2; 28-30).