WELCOME HOME, SON
I heard about a boy who was working in a grocery
store on a Friday night. He had a big date with his
girlfriend and he was anxious to get away. Right at
closing time a little lady came in and ordered a half
a head of lettuce. He wasn't happy about it because
he had to go to the back of the store and cut that
head of lettuce. When he got back there the manager
was back there and he said, "I can't believe this.
Right here at closing time, this hag of a woman came
in and she wants a half a head of lettuce." He turned
around and the little lady had followed him back
there. He looked at her and put his arm around her
and said, "This sweet thing wants the other half."
I'm going to try to say what I have to say and say it
We are looking at some of the stories Jesus told
and I think probably the most familiar of all of the
stories our Lord told is the story about the boy who
left home, hit the bottom and returned home to the
welcome arms of his father. I know it's the most
moving story of all of the ones the Lord Jesus ever
told. This parable, the parable of the lost son has
been called the crown and the pearl of all parables.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "it's the greatest short
story ever told in or out of the Bible." I had a
teacher a number of years ago who said that every word
that is included in this particular parable is
essential. You can't take a one out of it. I think
that is true.
It's a beautiful story and I think it is a true
story. I think when Jesus told about the boy who went
away from home and then returned was telling about
something that his audience knew about and knew to be
true. Whether that's the case or not, I do know that
it is true that we have families sitting in this very
service who have experienced sons or daughters who
have gone away into the far country of sin and
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