Summary: This sermon targets those who although have (had) a relationship with Christ, other things have taken priority over their walk with God.

Intro: It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No the weather may not be exactly the way that we would prefer. But the month of December would have to be my favorite month and yes I do despise the cold weather. However, there is nothing like the city and countryside being lit up and the stores decorated for Christmas. Probably some of our most memorable moments growing up centered on Christmas. One of my most memorable was waking up Christmas Morning of 1991 and looking outside to see the snow gently falling and a beautiful blanket of snow that was covering outside. Many of you are now thinking of some of your memorable Christmas Days.

I. What we go through to ensure that we have a Merry Christmas.

All types of preparation are made to make sure that it is a successful day. Shopping and saving is done by many throughout the year to give gifts to the ones that they love. There are many traditions that families have as well. Some leave cookies and milk for Santa; others arise and have a big breakfast together as a family and others open presents as soon as they arise on Christmas Morning.

II. However we also have those Christmas days that we would like to forget.

Maybe it was your first Christmas away from home. Maybe you had a job where you had to work and it was just another day. I have had two Christmas Days in which I was sick. One was in my early teens and the other just a few years back. Not the most exciting way to spend a Christmas. Let’s face it though what would Christmas be if we were away from the ones we love. It most definitely is not the same!

III. Not being at home sounds so attractive doesn’t it?

There is no greater event for that of a teenager or young adult than when they move out on their own or go away to college. You have finally arrived and you can live your life just exactly the way that you want to live and you will have to answer to nobody. (Right)

That is exactly the way that it is isn’t it adults. For as long as their have been children there have been those who couldn’t wait to get away from the entrapment of home. You see living at home is such a terrible experience. After all you get your meals for free, you pay no rent and in most cases all other expenses are taken care of too! And why is that usually less than a year or two away from home the highlights of our year is when we get to go spend a few days at home? Home isn’t such a bad place is it?

It sounded pretty attractive as well for the prodigal son. He would sit each night on the big hill that overlooked the valley and dream of being in that wonderful place where the bright lights were at. Away from mom and dad telling him how to live his life.

IV. Not being at home is not all it is cracked up to be?

Life was good as long as he had money. And then a mighty famine arose. All of a sudden his friends were no where to be found. All of a sudden the bright lights of the city didn’t seem so bright any more. All of a sudden he had to make a choice. You see that is the position that Satan puts us in. All is well, life is nothing but a party then the bottom falls out and a decision has to be made. Unfortunately many make the wrong decision. The prodigal son did as well. All is well away from home initially, until you realize one day that you are the one who has to pay the bill and you are the one who has to maintain a place of residence. The prodigal bought into the system. Verse 15 says this. “And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.”

Not quite like a citizen of the kingdom of God treats someone who is in need. No one is making a basket for this downtrodden individual. Yet while he is out in the pig pen he comes to his senses. At home my father’s servants have more than enough food to eat and here I desire to fill my belly with husks of that the swine eat. He came to the decision to come home. No matter what the consequences may be it is better than here. If I become a servant and am no longer a son at least I will have something to eat.

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