“‘This son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” (Luke 15:24)
Jesus taught about the kingdom of God with many parables. In this story about a lost son, we learn some important things about God’s love.
A man had two sons, and the younger one demanded his share of his father’s inheritance. Then, soon after the father had given him his inheritance, the younger son spent all of it foolishly. It was bad enough that he had asked for his inheritance while his father was still alive, but squandering it was also very foolish. Still, the father’s love toward his son continued. And when the son returned, the father welcomed him back with unconditional love.
This parable portrays the depths of the amazing love in God’s heart. It shows God’s willingness to accept and forgive any of us who come back to him from our wandering.
Now, when the father called for a celebration, the older son complained. He could not understand the father’s love and forgiveness. So the father explained to him that it was as if his brother had been dead and was alive again. So he wanted everyone to celebrate with him.
This parable also teaches us, then, that God calls us to celebrate when a wandering sinner comes back and wants to be part of God’s family. Will we let them in? Will we forgive as the Lord has forgiven us? This is how the love of God calls us to live.
Lord, thank you for your grace and forgiveness of sins. Help us to turn back to you each day, and also to forgive others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.