To seek and to save the lost: The prodigal son

Luke 19_10

The Verse of the Day for April 27, 2016 is taken from Luke 19:10 (KJV):

For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

In reflecting on this verse, I thought of a similar expression that comes at the end of the Parable of the Prodigal Son, as the father responds to his resentful son who stayed behind while his younger brother “squandered his substance in riotous living”:

Luke 15:32b:

. . . for thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

In Luke 15 we find three parables related to lost items: “The Parable of the Lost Sheep”, “The Parable of the Lost Coin”, and “The Parable of the Prodigal Son.” That particular parable is a favorite of mine, and I recall also seeing for the first time the Rembrandt portrait of the Prodigal Son which moved me in a most remarkable manner.

Rembrandt's Return_of_the_Prodigal_Son

I have personalized and poetically expressed my identification with the Prodigal Son, who is impacted and forever changed by the compassion of his “Forgiving Father,” the “Real Hero” of the passage. Each time I read this account, I think of this piece:


The Parable of the Prodigal Son
Luke 15:11-32

I prodigalled
and partied
and boogied my
nights away.

I humped and bumped
and stumbled
till I found myself
in a ditch.

I squandered all
of my bread,
down to my
very last crumb.

I had no friends
to turn to
I had no place to go
but home.

I tried to sneak back
but Daddy ran
to meet me
and greet me with
open arms
(like I’d been down
the road apiece,
or just got
back from town,
or never been
gone at all).

He didn’t ask me
where I’d been,
didn’t ask how
much I’d spent.

He forgave me,
just forgot
all the times I’d
plumb missed the mark.

He spread the
welcome table
and had a
family feast
to satisfy
my hunger
and meet my
every need.

Later on in the
midnight peace
when Pa and I
were alone,
we said nothing,
yet so much;
then through tears
of joy he said,

“It’s all right, son–
it’s all right, now.”

Listen to this moving rendition of “Prodigal” by Casting Crowns:

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