A Special Memory!
“He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.”
Luke 15:16 (NIV)
Hunger brought the prodigal to his senses. He had spent all of his inheritance on foolish things and ended up feeding pigs in a field and in a famine situation. He was extremely hungry and as we just read, no one gave him anything!
But there was something else, there was a memory from his childhood that surfaced and made him decide to go home. It was the recollection about the generosity of his father—even to his servants. Notice verses 17-18 here, “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father…’” That’s when the penny dropped. This special memory of his generous and caring father moved him so much that he set out for home.
A wise decision but also a scary one! This young man had not only despised his father’s love and embarrassed him, but he had also by his actions embarrassed all the people of the village where he lived. Going back meant that he would not only have to face the anger of his father, but also of the villagers.
But surprise, surprise, there was no anger there, just love, compassion, concern and forgiveness! Acceptance back into the family who he had treated so abysmally, acceptance as a son and not a servant—this young man is stunned by all of this love and comes to realise that he could work all his life and never be able to buy this amazing grace. It’s free; you can’t pay for it because the price has already been paid!
I would suspect that for the rest of his life this young man in this story told by Jesus, would think back on that amazing, life changing memory of his father’s love and generosity that prompted him to return to him—a father whose love never grew cold, whose love never gave up on him, and who looked for him each day with longing! Good call, eh?
Thank you Father, for a love that never fails; that will never let go; a love that is totally unconditional and is offered freely together with a joyful welcome home to all who have wandered far from you.
Study by Cliff Neill
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
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