I know most of you have seen flyers for lost pets or maybe you have lost a pet yourself. I feel sad for these people. I can’t imagine having my puppy Bentley lost and not knowing where he is or if he is OK. Have you ever lost something that was very precious to you? How did you feel? Have you ever found something that you had lost? If so, how did you feel when you found it?
In our Bible lesson today, Jesus told a story about a man who lost something that was very precious to him. It wasn’t his pet or even money. It was one of his children. The story also tells of the man’s joy when that which he had lost was found. This is the story that Jesus told. found in Luke 15: 11- 24. It’s called the story of the Prodigal Son.
A man had two sons. The younger son asked his father to give him his share of the inheritance that he had coming to him. The father gave it to him, and the boy left home to go out and see the world and have some fun. The father was broken-hearted. He had lost one of his sons, he thought.
It wasn’t long before the boy had wasted all of his money on wild living. He had no money to buy anything to eat, so he got a job feeding pigs. Can you imagine sloshing around in the mud with a bunch of smelly pigs? It was the worst job you can imagine, but he was so hungry that even the food that he was feeding the pigs looked good to him.
The boy looked around at the situation he had gotten himself into and said to himself, “My father’s servants live better than this! I will return home and beg for the forgiveness of my father and ask him to take me back as a hired servant.” As the boy approached his father’s house, his loving father, who had been watching and hoping for his son’s return, saw him coming and ran to meet him. He threw his arms around him and hugged and kissed him.
The father was so happy that his son had returned, that he gave him a robe and placed a ring on his finger. He ordered his servants to prepare a feast. “My son was dead, and now he is alive. He was lost, but now he is found.”
Jesus told this story to show the kind of love God has for his children. When one of God’s children strays away, He always welcomes him with open arms when he returns home. Aren’t you glad that you have a heavenly Father who loves you, even when you may not deserve it? I know I am!
Let’s say a prayer to Him now. Dear Father, we thank You for Your unfailing love. We are thankful that even when we stray, You welcome us home with open arms. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Ann Moody is a retired pastor, formerly of the Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church and the Middleport First Presbyterian Church. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.