Sunday, October 13: We’re going to feast!
Bad religion shrinks and kills our hearts. Bad religion lacks love and puts our focus in the wrong places. Bad religion often raised the ire of Jesus, and we find pieces of bad religion in each of our hearts. Jesus came to bring light and hope to us who so easily slip into bad religion.
Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them.
"Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
"When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.' So he got up and went to his father.
"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
"The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
"But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate."
Here's the first part of one of Jesus' most beautiful and familiar parables. We all know prodigals who have suffered the consequences of poor life choices. In fact, we all could be considered prodigal children to one extent or another. So what a joy it is when one of those lost ones understands their mistakes and returns home again.
Not one of us has avoided being lost because of our sin. Consider the feast that's been thrown for you because of your salvation. What are some things in your life you can celebrate because God in his love has forgiven you and welcomed you home?