February 08, 2017

The Runaway Son

Luke 15:11-24

The younger son . . . set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.

—  Luke 15:13

Sometimes it’s really hard to take. You’re living at home. You have to follow all the rules, and whenever you go out, you have to tell your parents where you are going. You’re expected to go to church, listening to sermons and singing hymns that sound really boring to you. Your parents even want to know what you are watching on your smartphone or tablet. Sometimes you just want out!

That’s how the younger son in Jesus’ parable felt. Every day it was the same routine and the same rules. He could not wait to get away. So one day he went to his father and demanded his inheritance. The father did not argue but gave him the money and let him go. For the first time in his life the younger son felt free, only to discover that the freedom he craved would turn him into a slave.

Of course this story is not just about a rebellious teenager or a runaway son. It’s an illustration of anyone who has turned their back on the Lord and wants to go their own way, regardless of the consequences. A twenty-something relative told me recently that his generation did not need God because they were doing just fine without him.

If you find yourself in a “distant country,” away from God, come back to him, because he’s waiting! And, if you have already come back to God, pray for all who are trying to live without the Lord, that they may turn to him too.

Father in heaven, help us to see how much we need you, and if we have drifted away, please bring us back. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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