“I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.”
— Luke 15:18
As a pastor, I often talk with parents who are disappointed that their son or daughter no longer thinks Christ is important. I always try to assure them that it is never too late for someone to return to God and his people.
Jesus tells a story about a son who ran away from home. Rather than work with his father on the family estate, the son demanded his inheritance and then wasted it on wild living. It probably seemed like an attractive idea at the time, but like many of our sinful decisions, it led to personal disaster.
When his money was all gone, the young man wound up working with pigs—“unclean” animals that were detestable to Jews. And as he “came to his senses,” he asked himself, in effect, “How did I get here?”
We might find ourselves asking the same question, having drifted far away from our Father. Repentance is the first step we take to return. And while we do not have the power to restore our relationship with God on our own, our Father promises to receive us back when we come with a repentant heart.
If you find yourself far from the Father, he invites you to come back to him today. Repent and return, and God will welcome you home.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your grace and mercy in Christ. Keep us from wandering from your care. Give us the courage to return to you, knowing that you will run to welcome us home. Amen.