This past Sunday we read in Luke the story of the prodigal son and what it feels like to come home.

Opening Scripture – Read Luke 15:11-24

Illustration – James shared a story about leaving for college and his relationship with his dad at that time was not good. There were hurt feelings and feelings of guilt. Returning for Christmas, he expected a rebuke from his dad or anger. Instead he was received with joy and unconditional love.

What keeps most people from coming back to church after a failure is the feeling that they have to make up for it with performance.

Read Luke 15:18

The son probably had been worrying and preparing his speech for coming home. But, what he saw in the father’s eyes was acceptance.

Look at the response of the father – Luke 15:20

This is a picture of a father in a hurry. This father was running to protect his son from the consequences of the law. He then smothers his son with kisses.

The father then calls the servants to bring 3 gifts (vs. 22):

1. Bring out the best robe.
– The son is covered in filth and rags. The robe represents the righteousness that only the father can give.
        – Read Isaiah 61:10; He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness.

2. Put a ring on his hand.
– This was the family signet ring that represented power and authority.

3. Put sandals on his feet.
– The son came home with the idea of being one of his father’s servants. Servants go barefoot but a son
wears shoes.


It is scandalous the love the Father God has for us.
– love that remembers our sins no more
– love that keeps no record of wrong

Do you need the embrace of a Father who has waited and longed for your return?
Do you view yourself unworthy to return?

Come home, your Father has been waiting for you and has gifts for you!

Discussion Questions:

– What filth (sin) keeps you from coming home to the Father?
– Does this story remind you of someone in your life that needs to come home to church?