When he came to his senses, he said, How many of my fathers hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men. So he got up and went to his father. Luke 15:17-20
We all have stories about running away from home. My one and only attempt took place when I was eight or nine, I planned to get on the school bus with my best friend Andrea and go live with her. My mistake was in choosing a Pastors daughter as my accomplice. She told her dad, who told mine. Well, I never made it on the bus but only to a very long talk with my parents about how running away from home was the not the answer. Now, nearly 14 years later, I’m not sure what made me so mad that I was considering leaving home for good.
We all have times in our lives when we leave home. We decide that something is worth more than living in the care and comfort of our home. It was the same for the prodigal son. He was in a place of love, comfort, safety and family, and yet made the decision that he wanted more than anything home could give him. He left. He headed out on his own, in search of other things, things of the world that could give him what he thought he deserved.
We’re like the prodigal son. We leave the comfort of God’s home thinking we deserve better. What we find is that we deserve far worse than we could ever bear. We deserve the cross. We deserve the pain and suffering of our sin. However, even though we are running away from home, time and time again, there’s a way back, a way first walked by Christ to the cross. Through His death, we can celebrate a homecoming.
As Christians, we can anticipate a fabulous homecoming. Most of us have been to some type of homecoming. It’s full of excitement, anticipation, joy, happiness, laughter and the celebration of our family and home. God is waiting to bring us home. He is the father; we are the child that was lost far from His love and care. He calls us back to the safety of His arms.
“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” Luke 15:21-24