Descendants: Running Joy

Luke 15:20b-24
The prodigal son is returning to his father to deliver a well thought-out statement. But while he was still a long way off, his father sees him. He has no idea what has happened to this son of his, but his love has kept his eyes ever on the horizon for even a glimpse of him. That he recognizes his son from “a long way off” is a testimony to the fact that his vigilance never has a break.

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Descendants: The Embrace

Luke 15:20b-24
The son tops that last rise and there, finally, his father’s house stands before him; crunch time has arrived. Whatever is going to happen is about to play itself out. All the fears, anticipation, all the practicing of his confession are about to come to fruition. The prodigal steels himself for the worse but he knows the he can’t go on without walking through this fire of confrontation and confession. So he steps off on this last leg of the journey that started so long ago in so many different ways. As he walks, he sees a figure immerge from the gate and that figure begins running towards him. Who is that and why are they running? It looks like Father, but that can’t be. It is my Father! Is he angry? Does he bear a weapon in his hand? Why is he running? Here he is! “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight…”

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Descendants: The School of Hard Knocks

Luke 15:17-20
Coming to himself as he stands in that field, the prodigal comes face-to-face with himself. He sees with God given clarity and focus the reality of who he is. There is no softening the blow, no explaining away the reality of what he sees. This is a straight right hand to the face, a bloody-nose that stops him dead in his tracks and forces him to pay attention to what is directly in front of him. This moment is a turning point, a graduation certificate from the School of Hard Knocks, one that I don’t think the prodigal, nor his father, would trade for the world.

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Descendants: Family

Luke 15:17-20
I have to wonder if as the prodigal son sat there looking at the pigs he saw a sow with her piglets and thought, “I don’t even have a family now.” Starving and thinking of family it hit him that his father’s servants were better off than him. He might not be in the family but maybe his father would be kind enough to at least let him be one of the workers.

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Descendants: Repentance

Luke 15:17-20
The prodigal is standing in a field, slopping hogs and starving when the light bulb goes on; he comes to his senses. It is like he wakes up from a dream and finds himself standing in the middle of Grand Central Station in his underwear and his reaction is ‘What in the name of sense am I doing here?’ The foolishness of his attitudes and his behavior becomes blindingly clear. In the light of this epiphany, he decides to go home, to return to his father and do what he can to restore some kind of relationship with him. It is either that or starve to death.

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