“So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” – Luke 15:20
Robert Frost wrote, “Home is the place where when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” There’s no place like home. No matter how bad we mess up or how disappointing life gets, it’s the one place we can usually find safe love.
Jesus spoke of a wayward son who messed up big time, wasting all that his dad had blessed him with. He ended up homeless and became so hungry that he was willing to eat leftover slop, fit only for animals. Finally, he came to his senses as he thought about home. He knew he didn’t deserve to go back, but he went anyway. His dad was so overwhelmed with joy at the very sight of his son, that he welcomed him home.
Like most of Jesus’ stories or parables, there’s a deeper meaning to this one. The dad in the story represents God, the Father. The wayward son represents you and me. The message in the story is that of God’s incredible grace and mercy no matter the gravity of our sins. It’s a way of telling us that we all mess up–but nobody messes up so badly that they won’t be welcomed back by the Lord, once they decide to come home. Is it time for you to come home to the Lord?