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Clergy View: 2 lost sons and a good dad

In Luke 15, we find a parable from the lips of Jesus about two sons who had this same dilemma. Thanksgiving might have been a hard time for them because their reality, the life they’d been given, did not match their hopes and expectations. Perhaps you can relate?

Two bibles stacked to represent Clergy View
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Being thankful for your father can be a difficult thing to say or feel in a season like this.

Perhaps you’ve had a poor relationship with your earthly father, or you have a hard time saying thank you to a Heavenly Father who has not been there the way you thought He should be. Thanksgiving, in that way, can be painful for some as they reflect on family tensions or a God who seems far off.

In Luke 15, we find a parable from the lips of Jesus about two sons who had this same dilemma.

Thanksgiving might have been a hard time for them because their reality, the life they’d been given, did not match their hopes and expectations. Perhaps you can relate?

The younger son wished his father dead. He couldn’t wait for the old man to pass so he asked for his future inheritance now. This prodigal coldly took the cash from his heart broken father and ran to a far country to live as he pleased, to indulge in whatever his heart desired. Maybe like us, he thought the grass was greener on the other side: if he could just have his freedom he would be satisfied. He lived like there were no consequences and no tomorrow. And when tomorrow came, as it does, the consequences were too much to bear. He came to his senses and humbly journeyed back.

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Matt Nagel
Pastor Matt Nagel

This wayward son has come home, not to a cold shoulder, but rather a warm embrace. The older brother who had never left home was just as lost. His self righteousness produced a heart that was greedy, proud and just as ungrateful for his relationship with his father and the life he’d been given. Like the younger brother, he only saw his father for what he could get from him: goats, parties, luxury and failed to see and be thankful for his bond as a son.

As readers we may more closely identify with the flagrant rebelliousness of one, or the quiet internal anger of another, but the story isn’t about these boys, or us for that matter. This father was an initiator. We read that he waited every day for that younger son to come back. And when he did, that father wildly ran to embrace and love on his boy. And when that older son stood at a distance, bitter and angry, who went to encourage him and bring him in?

A loving, initiating father.

In the same way, the Scriptures teach that God has initiated and moved toward you. He sent His son Jesus to live and die for wayward children and rise again to bring new life to any who would come home. We too have failed to be thankful for a kind father and to cherish our relationship with Him. There is grace for you and I in Christ. This Thanksgiving season, consider the father who receives sons and daughters. Consider the goodness of this gospel and be thankful.

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Related Topics: RELIGIONFAITHFAITH COLUMN
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