Summary: The prodigal’s return and acceptance by the Father.
As the family and friends of xxx xxxx we are gathered today in the presence of God both to remember him and also to find comfort from the word of God during this service of remembrance.
The Lord Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”
Shall we pray: Our heavenly Father, we thank you that we can come into you’re your presence anytime but especially when our hearts are weighted down with sorrow. Father, you know the grief that’s experienced by xxxx’s family and his many friends and the need they have of your comforting presence and the strength that can only come from You and Your word. Grant that each of us might look to you as we wrestle with the loss of one who means so much to us and help all of us to realize afresh that there is more to life than what meets the eye. And allow us in our time here today, to hear a message from your word with an open heart that we might respond in a way that’s pleasing to you. For we do ask this, in Jesus name, Amen.
I’d like to ask xxx xxxx to minister in song at this time.
I’d like to read a story Jesus told that He used to explain God’s love for all of us and it’s called the parable of the prodigal son.
“A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.
“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’
“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.”
So, here we have a story about a badly behaved son who was referred to as a prodigal and the word prodigal simply means wasteful. We don’t know any personal details about him; we don’t know how old he was or what his interests were but his whole approach to life seems to be summed up in the title prodigal. In other words, things meant nothing to him and as far as he was concerned money was meant to be spent. His motto would have been, “We’re not here for a long time but we’re here for a good time.”
I think he was the type of person who only did what he had to do and that was as little as possible. He probably spent more time getting out of work than actually doing any and he looked forward to the day when he could see it all in his rear view mirror.
As we read this story we get the impression his whole life revolved around short term satisfaction. He wanted what he wanted and he wanted it all right now. I mean, he couldn’t wait to get his inheritance and when he got it he blew it like there were truckloads of money coming in the very next day. Have you ever met someone like that?
When I was a youth pastor in Guelph we had a young couple who came to the church looking for money to pay their gas bill. Well, it was winter and they had a six month old baby and so for the baby’s sake we gave them what they needed. They had lived in an old house they had bought it with some insurance money the girl’s mother had left and the husband was really kind of lazy and he just did odd jobs a day or two a week or whenever he had to.