The Gospel reading today from Luke 15 is probably a very familiar story – the prodigal son. (Note: since this is part of the longer version of the Gospel today, you may not hear this story, as the short version omits it.) A man has two sons and the younger son insists that he receive his inheritance now. So the father capitulates, and the son goes off and squanders his inheritance on booze and women and wild times. A broken man, he tucks his tail tween his legs and goes back to his father begging to be taken back. The father not only welcomes him home, but throws a big banquet for the boy. Of course, this is a parable about how our heavenly Father rejoices when we return from the wasteland of sin.
The older brother bristles at the treatment of the younger brother. But the father says to him, “But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.”
It’s really pretty easy to get lost. The world has so many big and bright and shiny signs that all point us in the wrong direction. Confusion abounds. And sometimes we just have to “hit bottom” before we can begin to clear our heads and see the signs that point us back to God. This is a common theme in addiction recovery. You see, the prodigal son hit bottom. When it comes to sin, we need to do that as well. Only then can we begin on the glorious road home.
Father, you how easily we get lost. Open our eyes and our hearts, that we may find our way back to you today. Amen.