Reset – Reset My Relationships

“So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭15:20-21‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The story of the “prodigal son,m” or lost son, is an often told story from the Bible and one of my favorites. It is usually told from a male perspective of a father and two sons and their relationship with each other. The younger brother leaves with his inheritance and squanders his resources with bad choices and immoral living. He is starving when his money runs out so he decides to return home.

The power in the story of the lost son lies in the unexpected ending. Those listening to Jesus tell this story knew full well the younger brother returning to his father deserved to be met with rejection and anger. The younger brother acted with the utmost disrespect for his father, essentially wishing him dead, only desiring what he could gain as an inheritance from him. And then on top of everything, he went off to waste all of his father’s wealth. It was bad enough to take someone’s money and wish them dead, but then spending it all on worthless things just added insult to injury.

Imagine standing in the crowd of listeners as Jesus explained that while the younger son was still a far way off, the father began running toward his son. They probably listened in horror, wondering how violent the father’s response would be. But then something very unexpected happened—the father wrapped his son in his arms and welcomed him home without question.

Like the son returning to his father, we aren’t required to clean ourselves up before returning home to God. We’re invited to believe Jesus’ death and resurrection on the cross already put us in good standing with God, regardless of our past mistakes. Take the advice the disciples received. Believe that because of what Jesus has done, God runs to welcome you home.  May we all learn from Jesus’ story to run to our Father and realize God welcomes us with open arms.

In Christ’s Love and Service,

Pastor Paul Marzahn