January 21, 2001
Lost and Found
Luke 15

KEY VERSE: This my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. --Luke 15:24

Now and then I drive by the old house in which I was born during the Great Depression. My father built it himself and it still stands on a sturdy foundation. My nephew John lives in the house now with his family. John has re-roofed the house and made other improvements.

The house has many dear memories for me since I lived there the first 18 years of my life. I recall birthday parties for myself and my siblings on the front lawn. There we played croquet together. There during my teen years I acquired a pony named Josephine who was as dear to me as Trigger was to Roy Rogers.

After college and marriage my old home place drew me back like a magnet. My parents were there, living there into their nineties, so celebrations like July 4th, Thanksgiving, and Christmas brought me, my wife, and my children back home. It was like there was an unspoken law that we had to go back home on these special occasions.

Now that my parents are dead, and another family lives in the old house, it does not attract me as it once did. I can drive by without any compulsion to pull into the driveway. And I know why the magnetism is no more.

What drew me back home over so many years was that my parents lived in that old house. It was their unfailing love that brought me back home. Even if I had neglected to call or write for weeks, there was no reprimand but a joyous welcome whenever I appeared. I can still see the glad smile on my fatherís face when I showed up unannounced. He was never too busy to drop whatever he was doing to offer me and my family his gracious greeting.

Perhaps that is why I love so much the story Jesus told of the prodigal son. Here is the ultimate picture of God: a loving Father who has no reprimand but a tender embrace as He says, "Welcome home my dear child!"

Truly there is nothing in this world quite like the pull of the Fatherís House!