Tuesday, March 19

Tuesday, March 19    

Scripture: Luke 15:17-20a 

17 “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! 18 I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, 19 and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’

20 “So he returned home to his father.  

Some thoughts: 

     What was I thinking! Have you ever said that? When we first get off the path, it’s hardly recognizable. We used to live in Seattle. We drove to the farm in Illinois every summer. There was a point in eastern Washington where the interstate highway split. We could go straight and go through Montana, North Dakota and Minnesota or choose to make a slight veer to the south and a day later be somewhere in Nebraska, hundreds of miles to the south of where we might have been. At that moment of making the split it was hardly noticeable, but it did set the course for the next several days.

     When the prodigal son left home, it seemed to him like a great leap into freedom and the training wheels came off the bike! “I can do what I want. After all, it’s my adventure and I have plenty of money!” As he continued down the path, however, the folly of his course become very clear. If you are in fantasyland or on the wrong road, turn around! (Just to clarify, it is not a sin to drive through North Dakota, though it is if you go too fast thinking there is no speed limit (another story!)

     “Progress means getting nearer to the place you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.”  —C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, p.36

     “When he finally . . . came to his senses” is a testimony to God’s grace. Notice the prodigal’s father does not intervene in his son’s poor decisions. The seed of humility in the son we mentioned yesterday finally began to grow. He recognized his sin was against heaven as well as his earthly father. Notice he mentioned heaven first. All sin is ultimately against God and secondarily against others. This realization is an indication of truly understanding the significance of his previous choices. He repented went back to the place where he got off track which was home. Notice how much more there is than a simple “I’m sorry.” We see in the prodigal a complete attitude and heart change giving evidence of true repentance. Where is your path leading you today?

Music: “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me” Moses Hogan Chorale

Prayer: Fix thou our steps O Lord, that we stagger not at the uneven motions of the world, but steadily go on to our glorious home; neither censuring our journey by the weather we meet with, nor turning out of the way for anything that befalls us. The winds are often rough, and our own weight presses us downwards. Reach forth, O Lord, thy hand, thy saving hand, and speedily deliver us. Teach us, O Lord, to use this transitory life as pilgrims returning to their beloved home; that we may take what our journey requires, and not think of settling in a foreign country.           —John Wesley, Eerdmans’ Book of Famous Prayer, p.64