There was once a man, possible a lone parent who had two sons. One day the youngest son realised just how much wealth was tied up in his Inheritance and asked for his share to be divided. The son’s intentions was to leave his Father’s home and embark on an independent lavish lifestyle. To his amazement, his Father did exactly what he had asked. A few days later the son left home with all that he had been given, and travelled to a distant country.
Lesson 1: There are some who may wonder away from home, seeking better (more fun, more excitement, new experiences).
Upon arrival in the new land, he splashed his cash and soon found that his riches were gone as quickly as he had gathered them. A famine had also started in this country, and it looked like things were taking a turn for the worst. He thought about getting a job, and soon secured a position in the fields, where he fed pigs. It was definitely not what he was accustomed to, but it was work, right!
Lesson 2: The grass always appears greener on the other side. But if you were on the other side you would probably say the same thing about the side that you are currently on.
There came a day where he was so hungry that he thought about eating some of the pig’s food. At this very moment, he began to reflect on how much more his father’s servants had back home, compared to that which he had now. Therefore, with the guilt of knowing that he had wronged his father by asking for his birthright before the time, he journeyed home. He concluded that he was no longer fit to be called ‘son’ but would instead plead with his father to become a servant.
Lesson 3: Guilt can either keep you away from returning home or drive you to return home and right your wrongs. However we should avoid feeling that we have wondered too far to come home. Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
Lesson 4: God allows us to face challenges (famines) which will remind us of who our Father is and where we belong.
As he journeyed home, I can imagine how many times he recited his apology, rephrasing it until it was perfect.
The father was looking out, possibly wondering about whether his son would ever come home; just as we would expect any loving parent to wonder about the safety or return of their child.
Still a while away, his father saw him coming and had compassion for his son, he ran towards him, greeting him with a loving embrace. The son expressed how sorry he was, but his father interrupted him and asked his servants to bring him new clothes, a ring and shoes. That night a fatted calf was killed and the household celebrated the youngest son’s homecoming.
Lesson 5: God wants nothing more than for us to return home. He misses us when we are gone and longs for our return. When we return He rejoices, and celebrates our homecoming, because He understands where we are coming from and where we’ve been.
Well, all joined in on the celebration except the older brother, who had been out on the fields and had no Idea about his brother’s return home. However when he enquired about what was going on he was told about his brother’s return. Upon hearing the reasons behind the celebration, he became angry and jealous and decided against taking part in the celebration.
Lesson 6: Not everyone will be happy that you have returned home or even that your Father has forgiven you.
His father realised he was absent and came out to ask him to join the party. He expressed that he had been a faithful son, and had never been celebrated in this way. Yet his brother who had sinned against his father was welcomed in such an elaborate manner. The father comforted his son and told him ‘you have always been with me and what belongs to me also belongs to you, but your brother was dead and is now alive, he was lost and now he is found’.
Lesson 7: God loves everyone equally. Those who abide with God will see the evidence of His love day in and day out. However those who were lost, may feel that God does not love them; thus he celebrates them so they can see the extent of His love.
John 14:2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?
Ultimately God wants us all home with Him, This is the ultimate homecoming experience where we will be united with God once more.
Join us this coming Sabbath for our Homecoming service starting at 11:00am.
Whether you are a regular or not so regular member, please join us. It would be lovely to have you home!