Read Luke 15:11-24

“But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet” (v. 22).

In the final drama in this chapter of “lost things,” Jesus introduces a new element into the narrative. This element is the active role of the runaway boy and the matter of intentionality. Obviously, the sheep was just a stupid animal that wandered off and became lost. There are people, likewise, who wander away and become lost. The coin was an inanimate object that, perhaps, experienced a sudden fall from a pocket into an unseen corner. Unfortunately, there are people who become lost through a sudden moral fall. The son, however, had consciously and deliberately rebelled against the “established order” of the home and marched off to “do his own thing” which was both wasteful and, if the elder brother’s accusation be true, wanton as well. When the money ran out, so did his “friends” and he experienced ruin and, doubtless, ridicule. After his epiphany in the pig pen, he had to move intentionally to change his circumstances. The result was a reunion with the father, a reunion in which there was no rebuke or recrimination, only great rejoicing. What a glimpse into the infinite love of our Father! It all began with the resolution, “I will arise and go to my father!” (Michael R. Williams)

Are you praying for a lost child? God can awaken the lost — even in a pigpen.