Douglas: Come home

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Anyone who has been around church very much is probably familiar with the story Jesus told about “The Prodigal Son” in Luke 15.

Let me offer a few questions and observations about the father in the story.

Was this a wise father? When approached by his younger son with a very odd request for their culture the father considered the request for his inheritance and gave his younger son his portion, but also his elder son his inheritance as well.

Why didn’t the father plead with his son to stay home when he found out he was leaving? I believe this father was not one to force his will upon his son, or on anyone else he loved. He just relied on the teaching and guidance he himself had instilled in him and trusted that his son would make wise decisions.

When his son left and was gone for a long time, why didn’t the father send a search party for him? Perhaps the father constantly reminded himself that his son knew the way home and he never gave up hope that his son would return.

Why did the father not judge the son in a harsh manner when he returned home broke and stinking like the pig pen? The father understood that his son felt guilt and shame already and was experiencing feelings of condemnation and failure.

My parents live in Grand Junction and since we have been here in Craig only two and a half hours away, each time we have the opportunity to go to Junction they express how glad they are we are so close. We have never lived as close to them as we are now.

I thought about this story Jesus shares about a father and two sons and my focus went to the father. My dad smiles real big and laughs at my quirky comments and has fun with all of us each time we see him. The dad in the story has a reaction that neither the wayward son nor the elder son expect, and we don’t know for sure but probably the neighbors didn’t expect either.

The story states that the father counted his son dead but now alive, lost but now found, and declared him restored with all rights and privileges. He even commanded a celebration to be observed because of his son’s return.

I like it when my dad smiles with pleasure toward me and I thought of our heavenly Father watching and waiting for some sons and daughters that have wandered away to return to him. I believe he is waiting patiently for some to “come to their senses” and realize that his love is still the same. I also believe that he will not condemn and judge harshly because he knows the burden of guilt and shame that is already there that the enemy uses to keep us separated from God the Father.

Are you tired of the struggle away from home? I know a heavenly father and his unconditional love and longing for his children to simply “Come Home.”

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