At The Table//Josh Garrels
Here’s the thing. In today's society, we are all raised by a standard that we have to live up to. And when we don't live up to these preset expectations, these ideas of what success is, we are a failure. That's not true.
In Luke, Jesus tells us a parable in which there are two sons and a father. One son stays to help the father and the other takes all of his money and goes and squanders it all on earthly desires. That son, one day, realized that his father's servants were better off than he. So he goes home to beg his father to be a servant. Upon his arrival, the son is greeted with a feast.
WHAT!? The son that left his family to fend for themselves is greeted with a party?! That's crazy to think about. And the son that stayed in the farm is jealous. He has been there working his whole life and has never gotten a feast in his honor.(Luke 15:11-32)
Come on home
Home to me
And I will hold you in my arms
And joyful be
There will always always be
A place for you at my table
Return to me
I know, in my case, I identify with both sons in a way. I do my best to help my family, and my friends and I want to stay around as long as I can. But at the same time, I've gone and “squandered all my money” just to return to my father and ask for forgiveness. Here's where it gets even crazier.
I went the ways of wayward winds
In a world of trouble and sin
Walked along a crooked mile
Behind a million rank and file
Forgot where I came from
Somewhere back when I was young
I was a good man’s child
Whether you spend all your family's money, or “stay on the farm”, both are preparing you to be the father that welcomes his lost son to a feast and invites all into his home for the celebration.
Everybody has this father in their life. His name? God.
Luke 15: 11-32 “Then Jesus said, “There was a man who had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”’ So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate. “Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’ Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’ Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’”