Jesus uses a Parable of four Prodigals to give us the choice of losing/wasting– or-receiving/living God’s offer of Abundant Life – overflowing with peace and joy!
To: Come to our senses and ask God to help us; Come out of the darkness and love someone who needs our love; let Jesus guide us to give us new lives.
Prodigal No. I (the younger son) – We foolishly live “our way,” failing to live guided by God’s ways – letting our pride; our unwillingness to forgive and seek forgiveness; our unhealthy habits and addictions, divide us from the people we love, from the Abundant Life God offers…and we suffer the consequences…
Prodigal No. 2 (God) – But, because our God loves us lavishly and abundantly, he is always there when we “come to our senses,” see the results of living our ways. If we ask Him to help us, He will send some word, some person, some Small Group…that will lead us to find the ways to live God’s Abundant Life, and overflow with joy!
Prodigal No. 3 (the older son) – This is us, when we refuse to forgive and show our love to a sister, a brother, someone in our life…especially when they not seem to be lovable. For this not only cuts us off from them, it cuts us off from God (“If we do not love our brothers or sisters and give them what they need, we do not love God!”).
Instead, Jesus urges us to follow the truth from “Mama” to her daughter in A Raisin in the Sun, when her brother has caused a severe problem for the family: “When there’s almost nothing left to love, that’s when we have to love the most!” For when we love like that, the family comes together and experiences the joy of pulling together again (or for the first time).
Prodigal No. 4 (Jesus) – He is the most Prodigal of all, overflowing with unstoppable love, foolishly losing his life for all of us losers – to experience Hell so that we can trust him to lead us out of our Hells (as he said to Harry Truchert in the depth of his despair – “I know how you feel, I’ve been there myself!”).
Jesus offers an invitation, to come to a party – to marriages, families, lives filled with love, peace, and joy. The door to that party is through the heart of love…of God for us; of us for each other, and when we do not know how such a life is possible, ask our love-filled Jesus to take you by your hand and lead you in…!