“When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.”Luke 15:25b
The story of the Lost Son (Prodigal Son) is a favorite of many because it speaks to us on so many levels. Some of us have been a prodigal ourselves at one time or another, or we have known or know a prodigal. Maybe we have been a parent, or brother or sister of a prodigal. Maybe we are or have been a fellow servant in the Father’s household who knew the prodigal—how he was raised, what he had been taught, etc. No matter the circumstance, we are all too familiar with the story of individual thinking they know better than God and making poor choices as a result, only to find themselves away from the Father, away from home, and doing things in life they never dreamed of doing before. But then, through conviction of the Holy Spirit they “come to themselves” and map out a path homeward.
Ah, the trip home is often the scariest part. How will they be received by the Father? What about the rest of the family, and all those servants they grew up with? Are these servants and friends going to be receptive and willing to forgive? We often overlook that part of the journey home. Yet, the Father instructs the servants (that’s you and me) to kill the fatted calf and throw a welcome home party. Don’t miss that. We are told by our Master that as His servants, we are to be the welcoming party for all who have wandered away and are in need of some friends to say welcome home.
I see the Sunday School class as the place where the party is going on—where someone, anyone, can come and find people who are ready to throw a party in their honor because they are coming back home to their Father, their family, and their friends. We may not know them yet, but the small group setting is a place where those who are in need of real acceptance can find the servants ready to kill the fattened calf for them. It is the place where there is joy in the presence of the Father. It is the place where judgment is checked at the door.
So, come on in! The door is open and there’s a party going on inside just for you!