The story of the Prodigal Son is a story about the divine nature of God. The parable itself contains many characteristics of God, which He offers to all of us: grace, forgiveness, and an agape love. These sacrificial offerings then lead to personal renewal, transformation, and our own restoration into the ministry of Jesus Christ.
One of the difficulties which the modern day Christian has to face is to be in this world, yet, not of this world. The word holy means to be set apart. So, to live out a Christian life and lifestyle means to live in a secular culture which does not hold the same significance as the Christian lifestyle which the Gospel calls us to live. In this day and age of high tech, mass media, “Kim Kardashian saying this” has replaced the popularity of “Paul saying this”. The 10 Commandments seems less interesting than the recent scandal involving a mayoral candidate. Greed has replaced mercy. Trust has been removed by litigation.
You and I often become caught up in the normal everyday cycle of secular living, failing to pray and meditate, failing to read our Bibles, seeking the temporal values, and failing to do anything which will restore our souls. The youngest son of the Prodigal Son parable certainly knew a thing or two about this restorative failure. H
The wonderful cast member to this story is the father. He offers everything which he has to his youngest son and once his son squanders his inherited resources, the father continues to offer his love, support, and compassion.e greedily took from his father and squandered his money with irresponsible living. Then, once he was completely destitute, he still failed to see and understand the grace-filled nature of his father.
The Prodigal Son parable is also our story. As Christians, or “little Christs”, we are called to imitate and live out the very life of Jesus Christ. This is a life of love, compassion, mercy, and forgiveness, that will allow souls to be renewed, transformed, empowered, and restored into his life, mission, and ministry.
When the Church fails to offer Christ’s grace, love, mercy, compassion, and forgiveness, souls become impoverished and lost. I am always challenged by the degree of grace within this parable. I have my limits to which I will give. I have parameters to which I offer myself. Yet, there is a soul seeking transformation, renewal, and restoration beyond these 4 walls and if the church does not offer them Christ… who will? —
Rev. David J. Harriss