Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So to them Jesus addressed this parable: “A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father, ‘Father give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’ So the father divided the property between them. After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation. When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need. So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine. And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any. Coming to his senses he thought, ‘How many of my father’s hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger. I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”’ So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ But his father ordered his servants, ‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.’ Then the celebration began. Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean. The servant said to him, ‘Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him. He said to his father in reply, ‘Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’ He said to him, ‘My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’”
That’s right. We’re all the prodigal son. We’ve all gone prodigal. We were conceived in Paradise and dropped here on this planet to find our way back to Him. This parable is a story of Hope and a story of Homecoming. From the moment we were born through our earthly Mothers into this world, It was done…It was finished. By the earthly time of our births, Jesus had already died and left the tomb. He had already come again and had already ascended into Heaven re-taking His Seat at the Right Hand of the Father. He had already conquered death and ensured our Places with Him in Heaven. He was already waiting for us to come back to Him from our very first breaths here. So, why not embrace being the prodigal son? Why not run back to our Father who is standing there waiting to run back at us? Why not realize that forfeiting our place at Home for worldly goods will never sustain us like living each day (and all of Eternity) with our Heavenly Father will? Why not do everything we can to be with Him all of the time? Like I said, being prodigal is a Privilege we don’t deserve, but His Grace allows us to come back Home to Him when we’re ready. And, in the Immortal Words of the Bible (also used by Julie Garland in “The Wizard of Oz”), there’s no Place like Home.