“When he came to his senses…”
Scripture: Luke 15:17-20a
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
Reader: This is the word of the Lord. Response: Thanks be to God.
What was I thinking! Have you ever said that? When we first wander 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 the time of making the split, it didn’t seem like that big of a deal, but it did set the course for the next several days. When the prodigal son left home, all he could see was wealth and good times ahead! The path became bumpier with more rocks and ruts the farther he went. Finally the ruts became more like a grave with open ends. If you are in fantasy land or on the wrong road, turn around! (Just to clarify, it is not a sin to drive through North Dakota, though it apparently is if you are near 90 mph…and there is nothing out there except one other car… (another story!) The seed of humility in the son we hinted at yesterday began to grow. There is this most powerful line, “When he finally came to his senses . . .” I have to wonder if the father was not praying for this very thing for his wayward son. The teaching that had been instilled, finally kicked in. He recognized his sin against not only his earthly father, but against heaven itself. This is key. Like King David, he realized his sin was against God. He repented, and went back to the place where he got off track. Home. Notice how much more there is here than a simple “I’m sorry, dad.” There is a complete attitude and heart change. A complete change in direction. That is what happens in true repentance. The wiser you are, the faster you’ll recognize you are on the wrong path and turn around. What path are you on today?
Music: “In His Hands” Radiance Acapella great group from Zimbabwe
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, 1703-1791