In Luke’s passage today, through parable God welcomes the lost. It is a compelling metaphor of God’s extravagant love and acceptance, especially for those who are alienated or lost.
How often have you felt lost or alone? Have you felt overwhelmed by the details of this life? Have you lost God? Or have you felt that God has abandoned you at any difficult chapter in your life? If so this parable is for you.
In many ways, each of the characters in this story is lost. The father has lost hope. The younger son has lost his way, lost his home, lost nearly everything except one – the courage to repent. The elder son has lost his temper, feeling cheated and betrayed and like their father owes him something.
At times in my life I have felt like and related to each of these characters. Often I have felt akin to the elder brother, and his frustration. How would I feel if after making wrong turn after wrong turn, my father had such extravagant love with one of my siblings? Would I be jealous of the celebration? Or would I be able to have the courage to join in the celebration and welcome the prodigal home?
Where has the extravagance of God’s love filled your life? How has it come to you, but you subtlety missed it? How can you reclaim the celebration that God offers in the midst of stressful and difficult times?