The return of the Prodigal Son back home was a process. He left home on his own terms and will. He spent all his inheritance and was reduced to poverty. As a Jew, he would not have loved the job as a caretaker for pigs. Sadly, he did not even have food that was given to feed the pigs. He returned home to a grand welcome. It was a process. (Luke 15:11-32)
1) Realization: Young fellow did not have to bother about food when he was with his father. Hunger was not an option. Now, hunger became his spiritual teacher. It forced him to think, reflect and realize that his choices were not right and was not in the right place. Famine was there, he felt great need of hunger and no one gave him anything. (Luke 15: 14-16)
2) Remorse: He remembered his life at his home, where even servants had better facilities. Sorrow, regret and tears overwhelmed him. This was physical and emotional response.
3) Repentance: He did not stop with remorse. He decided to go back to his home and confess his sin that was against Father in Heaven as well as his earthly father. It was spiritual agony for his waywardness, reckless living and sinfulness. In his heart, he turned towards God, in mind decided to return home and in emotions he longed for his father’s love.
4) Return: His repentance was not just state of mind, but action. A long walk towards his home began. The journey of faith that his father would at least accept him as a servant if not as a son. A flickering lamp or a bruised reed, will not be ignored by the father.
5) Reconciliation: Father was more than ready to forgive him. A waiting father ran, embraced his son, before villagers could catch him to punish or elder brother could abuse him. Clothed, given a ring and a celebration of feast followed.
Praise God for the Heavenly Father who is ready always to welcome returning repentant sinners.
Am I safe in Lord’s home, care and protection?
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