Lent Devotion for Friday, March 11
"This son of mine...was lost and is found."
Reader: “We learn about the father’s heart.”
Response: “We also get more insight into the heart of God.”
SCRIPTURE: Luke 15:22-24
22 "But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.
Reader: “This is the word of the Lord.”
Response: “Thanks be to God.”
This part of the parable is about restoration and forgiveness. Notice the father (God) barely responds to the son’s words of confession. He clearly receives them and moves on. No dwelling on past failures, poor decisions, personal greed, and so forth. (I’m glad you finally learned your lesson! What have you learned from your mistakes? It’s about time you wised up, etc.!) The father calls for the “best” robe, the robe of royalty - “son, you have not been disinherited.” He puts a signet ring on his son’s finger to remind him that he is still an heir, implying he still has an inheritance in spite of what he forfeited. The son remained an heir, even through foolishness, distance from home, and wanton self-will. He is given shoes for his worn, dirty, and cracked feet. The father completely restored the son’s position and identity. This called for celebration! Do you ever think of God “rejoicing” over you when you turn from self-will to his will? Are there some “prodigals” for whom you have been praying a long time? Keep it up. They may not have made it to the pigpen yet. Keep watching the horizon and get ready to run! Your Father did that for you.
MUSIC: “O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus” by Selah
PRAYER: Dearest Lord, may I see you today and every day in the person of your sick, and, whilst nursing them, minister unto you. Though you hide yourself behind the unattractive disguise of the irritable, the exacting, the unreasonable, may I still recognize you, and say: ‘Jesus, my patient, how sweet it is to serve you.’ Sweetest Lord, make me appreciative of the dignity of my high vocation, and its many responsibilities. Never permit me to disgrace it by giving way “to coldness, unkindness, or impatience. Lord, increase my faith, bless my efforts and work now and forevermore, Amen. –Mother Teresa of Calcutta, 1910-1997