My wife used to work as a 6th-grade teacher at a Christian school. Several times a year, the school would hand the “lost and found” on the playground fence for the students and parents to reclaim the sweatshirts and jackets left behind. You would arrive at school to pick your child, and you couldn’t see the playground because the lost items covered the whole fence. By the time the students were picked up, most items were reclaimed. Today we look at another case of Lost and Found. In this case, a father had lost a son but had found him again.
Son,’ he said to him, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’
The parable of the Prodigal Son is one the better known in the Gospels. There are several facets to the story. First, a son demands his inheritance before his father has died. Second, that son goes and blows it all partying and ends up hungry and homeless. Third, the son returns, and the father rejoices, but the brother who remained is bitter. Almost everyone has a prodigal in their family. It’s the person who veered off the path, made some poor choices, and ended up in a proverbial ditch. How to handle them when they return is a challenge. Some are thrilled, and others are resentful. We need to take the father’s posture in this parable because He represents God.
Lost and Found
It would be easy to be like the bitter brother and hold the transgressions against the prodigal. Instead, it would be best if you were welcoming, merciful, and forgiving like the father. This may not be easy, but it is best for your soul. Holding things against others only makes you unhappy. The father forgot all of the past because he rejoiced over His Son’s return. This is how God feels when you repent of your sin and return to Him. Be the forgiving person when someone who has done wrong returns.