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THE PRODIGAL SON

The Upper Room Devotion for Tuesday April 2, 2024 was written by Christopher King of Virginia,


 

Scripture


11 Then Jesus said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. 13 A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. 14 When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. 16 He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. 17 But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father's hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.” ’ 20 So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. 21 Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate. 25 “Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. 27 He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’ 28 Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’ 31 Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’ ”

Luke 15:11-32 NRSV

 

Author's Thoughts


Just like the youger son in Jesus' parable, I squandered my life in wild living. Drugs and alcohol consumed me, and I became a shell of a man. Deep down I knew there had to be a better way. One cloudy Saturday in early June 2013, I found myself sitting in front of a church in southern Delaware. I was waiting for the Narcotics Anonymous meeting to start, but I had arrived early and was the only one there. Not long after I arrived, a man pulled into the church parking lot and parked in a space reserved for the pastor. I told him my story. He listened attentively and invited me to the next day's service when he would be preaching about the Prodigal Son. In my heart, I knew I was supposed to attend that service.

As I sat in the front row of the church the next morning, I felt the pastor was talking directly to me. Within and hour, I knew that I would never squander another day. That church welcomed me. Today I am blessed beyond compare. I am the Prodigal Son, and God has received me with love.

 

Author's Prayer


Dear God, forgive us for squandering our days. Help us to realized how precious life is. Amen.




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