We all have questions about life after this life. Is there life after this life? What happens when you die? Who has been to heaven? And what is it like there? That may explain the popularity of the book 90 Minutes in Heaven.
In this parable Jesus tells us about the rejoicing in heaven. It seems to imply that when someone righteous enters heaven, there is joy, but no surprise. He has been expected and is made most welcome.
But when someone who has been a sinner repents and goes home, there is a jubilation celebration. Something that had been lost has been retrieved.
When I talk to womens groups about forgiveness, I tell them that forgiveness is not "kiss and make up" or "forgive and forget."
True forgiveness is being able to to see the offense for what it was; being able to see the offender and what he/she did; and then to see that offender through the eyes of God, as a beloved child who has strayed and whom you want desperately to see restored to home.
That is the theme of the parable of the Prodigal Son.
Today, let us pray for all the prodigals in our lives (ourselves included) that they may be brought safely back into the fold.
Help us to find our way back to You when we have strayed. Open Your arms in forgiveness for our faults. And teach us to pray for those who have offended us.
In Jesus' most precious name.