And some of you once were….
Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.
The son living in a distant country far from the Father driven to desperation, finds himself in need.
“If I can just be a servant, a hired hand”, he reasons, “I will be better off than I am now.”
And he heads for home.
To his surprise instead of being called to account for his foolishness,
rejected because of the shame he has brought on his family, sent to the servants quarters, he is greeted with forgiveness, acceptance and generosity.
Instead of bare essentials, food and shelter, he is welcomed with a ring, a robe, a place of honor.
This parable follows two others about lost sheep and lost coins. It is told against a backdrop of the “religious folk” mumbling about Jesus eating and associating with sinners.
And an older brother who objects to the celebration.
But the point of the story is not about any of that.
In this parable we see what God has planned all along, for all the sons and daughters who have wandered far from home.
We see the heart of God as this father runs to greet the prodigal over the objections of the older brother.
“But we have to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
He was dead and is alive again, lost and is found……
And some of you once were and maybe still are in that distant country
This story tells us no matter where we are, we are valuable to God.
And none more so than the one who is lost in a distant country….
God not only earnestly desires that you come home, He has done everything necessary to provide a happy ending to all our stories.
Dead but alive
Lost and found.