“There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.” Luke 15:11-13
We, the prodigal people, are squandering our earthly inheritance.
After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. (v 14-16)
When will our hunger leave us desperately longing, even for food fit for pigs?
“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father. (v 17-20a)
When will we come to our senses?
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ (v. 20b-21)
There will be a sensational celebration that day!
In our new sensation…
We will see,
shade by shade and color by color,
without presumption or conclusion.
We will hear,
word by word and sound upon sound,
without any hint of assumption.
We will smell,
scent by scent and odor by odor,
without recollection or revulsion.
We will taste,
bitter and sour, salty and sweet,
without hunger or apprehension.
We will touch,
soft and tender, harsh and painful,
without reluctance or anesthetization.
What will I do when I come to my senses? What will you?
For only then will we, the prodigal people,
realize just how far we’ve gone,
and decide it’s time to come home.
But the seed falling on good soil is the one who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
If automobiles come with an owner’s manual, surely there must be one for me. No responsible manufacturer would slap a human together without an owner’s manual. Let’s see. Here’s what’s listed in the Quick Reference for my Ford Escape.
Instrument panel/vehicle display … For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. ~ I Corinthians 13:12
Steering … While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” ~ Matthew 17:5
Navigation … Listen to my voice, and do all that I command you. So shall you be my people, and I will be your God, ~ Jeremiah 11:4
Sync with my cellular … But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. ~ Matthew 6:6.
Remote Key entry/ AKA “intelligent access” … But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, ~ John 1:12
Windshield Wipers … He will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.”~ Revelation 21:4
Spare tire and tools … In this life you will have trouble I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!” ~ John 16:33
“Comfort settings” … Comfort my people, Israel Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. ~ Isaiah 40:1
Fuel/Refueling/Transmission … God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. ~ Gen 1:29
Temperature/climate control … Do not let the sun set on your anger. ~ Eph 4:26
Lighting/Interior Lights/High Beams … I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, the eyes of your heart so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints. ~ Ephesians 1:17-18
Safety restraints … Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast. ~ Psalm 139:7-10
Brakes/ Traction control … I keep the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. ~ Psalm 16:8
Towing/Carrying a load … For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” ~ Matthew 11:30
Roadside Emergencies … Call to me and I will answer you. ~ Jeremiah 33:3
Vehicle care and maintenance … You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” ~ Mark 12:30-31
Extended Warranties … Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” ~ Hebrews 13:5
Cruise control … I can’t find this one in the manual. Perhaps the manufacturer intended for me to keep my eyes on the road and my mind alert for break lights ahead, lane closures or construction zones. “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. ~ Matthew 16:24
Ironic, isn’t it, that after a basic driver’s ed course and a few hours behind the wheel, we just step on the gas and learn how to break in order to take the curves without crashing.
What if we read The Manual?