Today, Frank preached about a really good, Good Samaritan. I sat there and took all kinds of notes to come home and post about the sermon....but on my way home....I thought about the Prodigal Son....and could not get him off my mind all afternoon. So...it is the Prodigal Son you are getting today. Did you know that the parable of the Prodigal Son is probably one of the most “sermonized” parables in the Bible. But of all of the sermons I’ve heard most of them only concentrate on the prodigal son. Very rarely does an American pastor focus on the father of that prodigal son. He had a father....and that father was in pain during his absence...don't you think? I would have been. I have to be honest with you....I got the idea for this post from one of my favorite songwriters, John Denver. I think it is a little ironic, since he was not even a Christian. Yet a lot of songwriters get the ideas for their songs from sermons and scriptures. I mean look at the Byrds and "Turn Turn Turn"....straight out of Ecclesiastes. Yep, I’ve always believed that the Holy Spirit can speak to us with many different voices and in many different venues. I love the parables that were used by Jesus to teach. Jesus used parables to teach a spiritual truth from an everyday situation that the average person in His days on earth would understand. If He were living among us today, the examples would be different of course, although the spiritual truth is eternal. In the Parable of the Prodigal Son, one of the two sons had left the family, seeking to live life as he wanted to live it. He hit rock bottom, literally coming to his senses in a pig pen. “I will arise and go to my father and will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you’.” (Luke 15:18) One of the coolest things I think about this parable is the father’s reaction to his son’s return. This father teaches us two very important practices that would go a long way in helping to heal broken relationships with our children and grandchildren. Ok...so why don't we practice them?
The very first and to me the most important, was witnessed when the son physically returned home. The father didn’t wait for the son to apologize. He ran to greet him. It was only after the hugs and kisses that the son was finally able to utter an apology. As parents, we have to meet our children halfway when they return rather than allow our pride to convince us to wait for them to make the first move. That first move may never happen....and then what would you have? The second practice is that absolutely nowhere in the parable does the father speak a condemning word. There is no “I told you so” or “I hope you’ve finally learned your lesson.” Instead, this father offered unconditional forgiveness. Notice the reaction of the father: compassion, music and dancing, merry, and gladness. What a great lesson. Compassion can best be learned from brokenness. The other son could not understand the father’s reaction to his brother’s return. He had not experienced his father’s pain. “It was right that we should make merry and be glad,” the father told the other son, “for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.” (Luke 15:32) We often wonder why we suffer like we do. You all have read my blog over the last year and have heard me cry out during the loss of my father....well...today I actually think I found an answer to my many, Why Gods." I truly believe that some of my suffering was to teach me to love as I should. Once again...God was using me for an object lesson and building some character in me. I wonder when I will ever listen the first time. Happy Sunday to all and enjoy the song that inspired this post.
To Joey, With Love....WINNER!
10 months ago