He shouldn’t have done it, he shouldn’t have gone ‘there,’ but he did. He left home, and the values of home. He thought he “had the world by the tail.” He had freed himself of his father. He would control his destiny; he would choose his own path.
His dad was a good dad. He worked hard, provided for his family, feared God, and mentored his boys. Though not perfect, he loved his kids. He desired that they choose a path best for them. He would not play ‘God’; He willingly relinquished control.
Life did not go well for this son. He sought company with the wrong crowd; no one really cared about him. He wasted his inheritance. Hard times came, and he found himself in a place he never thought he’d be. He got a job feeding pigs.
Having been raised on a farm, that sounds to me like being in a “stink’n rotten mess.” He had little financial security, and said, “Here I am starving to death!”
But he wasn’t a quitter; he could still think. The Bible says that when he came to his senses he said, “I will set out and go back to my father and say to him, “Father, I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.” So he got up and went to his father. (Luke 15:17-20)
This son knew his dad! While still at a distance, “his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” His son said, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.”
But the father said, “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”
Jesus spoke of a lost sheep, a lost coin, and this lost son. He stated His point, “I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” He knows His Father. The Heavenly Father watches, eagerly waiting for a prodigal sinner to come ‘home’.
I have done that! My sin separated me from a relationship with God. I learned of His grace and mercy toward sinners. I ran to Him asking for forgiveness; I had “sinned against heaven.” He ran to meet me, welcomed me ‘home’! He restored me to a relationship with Himself because of what His Son, Jesus, had done for me on the Cross. My Father rejoiced at my home-coming! I also rejoice!
Now, I want to be like my Father. I want to be a ‘Go-To Dad’:
– a Dad who remembers how prone to wander I was, and am. It’s humbling.
– a Dad who earnestly watches, ‘keeps the door open’, eager to initiate reconciliation.
– a Dad who is gracious, merciful, and forgiving – not an “I told you so!” grump.
– a Dad who celebrates at every opportunity to be restorative.
This Father’s Day we need to honour our fathers, as God commanded. And, as Dads and Granddads, let’s show ourselves to be a ‘Go-To Dad.’
“Are you with me?”
Pastor Bill Terris