And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
Luke 15:20, ESV
As these words came out of Jesus’ mouth when He was telling the parable of the Prodigal Son, I am sure astonished many. The son who left was awful, but sadly the son of the one who stayed was still far from his father, as we find further on in the parable. As we look at the story of the prodigal, the greater question to ask is, “Where am I in my relationship with the Father?” Being regularly at church or doing certain things to show that you are a church-goer does not necessarily mean your heart is aligned with the heart of our Heavenly Father. The band Kansas released a song in 1976 called “Carry On Wayward Son,” which highlights this theme. One could almost believe that the father in the parable was excusing the sin of his son, but the words show otherwise at the end. It was not an excusing but forgiveness that was available for the son who remained also. Both needed forgiveness, but the one who realized how foolish he was returned as a beggar with nothing to offer, while the eldest who remained was upset because he did not regularly receive the reception being offered to his brother. God’s love comes at great cost to the Father, who gave His only Son as a sacrifice for us all. As Kansas puts it, ” Carry on my wayward son. There'll be peace when you are done. Lay your weary head to rest. Don't you cry no more.” Our Father in heaven awaits our return to Him as we realize the illusion of all that Satan presents as being the life and return to the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Let us pray. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger, and I ask you to protect me this day also from sin and every evil, that in all I do today, I may please you. For into your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel watch over me, that the wicked foe have no power over me.