His father saw him… and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
I think the story of the prodigal son must be one of the most beautiful of Christ’s parables. There are a few different perspectives that can be studied in this story. The one I want to focus on today is that of the good father in relationship to the returning son. Each of us can relate to this son in the fact that we have all made mistakes and have turned away from God from time to time by not making Him a priority in our lives. This may have led to sizeable sins or slightly measurable ones, but in either case, without the atonement of our Redeemer, these mistakes would bar us from ever being able to be in the presence of God again.
I for one have felt the guilt and shame of mistakes in my life. I have felt the heavy burden of wondering whether or not I would ever feel loved by God or worthy of that love again. Because of those feelings of despair, I can completely relate to the squandering son who desired only to be a servant to his father, to be under his roof and protection once again, even if he could not partake fully of the abundance.
To my surprise, I learned that an acknowledgement of our mistakes and repentance of them, even of severe ones, does bring our Father running to us. Regardless of our foolishness, He loves us and wants us to return to Him more than anything! He is waiting and watching for us to choose this course, and as soon as our heart is turned back towards Him it allows Him to run to us, to comfort us, to teach us, and to heal us. He will never cross the barriers of our agency, but when we act in such a way to invite Him back into our lives, He joyfully responds to the invitation.
Maybe you have never made sizeable mistakes that left you feeling this deep desperation, but even the smallest of sins saddens the heart of our loving Father because it keeps Him from being able to be fully in our lives. We make choices every day that either bring us closer to Him or push Him farther away. With each of these choices we bring Him joy or sadness. I am so grateful for a compassionate Savior and Redeemer who loves us so much He was willing to innocently suffer for and atone for our sins. Through this great and infinite act, He gives us each the key to repent and unlock the ability to return. The most miraculous thing to me is that it does not have a limited amount of uses. Any time, every time we come to our senses and realize we have distanced ourselves from God, we can use this gift to turn again and start on a path back to a Father who will run to us!
The Primary Manual for Come Follow Me is perfect for families with young children!
Click on the images below to print out these FREE coloring pages from Rising Moon Adventures that I created to go with this lesson:
Primary Insights for Come Follow Me videos –
Song 1: How Far by Tasha Layton
Video 2: He Ran to Me by Phillips, Craig and Dean