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
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!
– 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?