Prayer: Forgive us O Lord when we forget to open our hearts to Your people. Forgive us O Lord when we forget to open our hands to helping those in need. Forgive us O Lord when we forget to open our souls to Your glory. Amen.
Luke 15: 13 – 20
The youngest son set off for a distant country. Away from his family. He gathered all he had and turned it into money. The youngest son then squandered all of his money. Then he had nothing. A famine surrounded the land and the only job he could find was working with pigs. Pigs. The law of Moses forbade the people from eating certain things. One of the big “don’t eat this” was pig. (Deuteronomy 14:8) And here is the youngest son looking after and caring for the very animals that are forbidden to be eaten or touched. Now the youngest son is unclean.
He got so hungry and he was willing to eat the food fed to the pigs.
Verse 17 is one we should all keep in mind! “And then he came to his senses” The youngest son’s stomach pinched with hunger and he suddenly came to his senses. He rehearsed what he would say to his father. It began with asking his father for forgiveness of his ways and asking to become part of the family again but this time only as a servant as he was not worthy.
The father must have been waiting and watching for his son. While the youngest son is a long way off, the father spots his son. Isn’t it amazing how frequently we can pick out our family if they are in a crowd or a long way off… not by what they look like or wear but by the way they walk or hold themselves. So too this father spotted his son coming home.
The father is filled with compassion and runs out to greet his youngest son. Run. Running in a hot climate is never smart. The word “run” here translates as hiking up one’s robes and running with great abandonment and haste. Dignified men did not run. But here is a father running to greet his son. And why does he run? Because he is filled with compassion.
Even though he knew that his youngest son would be unclean, this father runs up to him and throws his arms around his youngest son and kisses him. This establishes his compassion and love for his son.
Today meditate and think about the compassion of the father. Do we have compassion today? Does our Church have compassion today? How do we show compassion for those who run wild and then return home?
Prayer: Help us this day O Lord to come to our senses. May we always live and move and have our being in Your love. Amen.