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Wow! What a Revival

What a week! 20 people responded to the gospel call as Keith Parker delivered some powerful lessons from God's word. Last week my article was based on the statement made by Thomas Wolfe when he wrote a novel entitled "You Can't Go Home Again". People make that statement usually because of an experience they've had when returning to once familiar territory — but it doesn't seem quite the same. The reason is that places change and we change. But 20 people proved that statement to be false this past week.

In all probability, no story that Jesus ever told has been more repeated more often than the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15. Perhaps that's true because most of us can see ourselves in the story through the attitudes of the principal characters.

I like the father in Jesus' parable. Not only is he the characterization of God, but he reminds me of some great people I have known. They overlook your ill-chosen words. They forgive you when you know you deserve much less. Their words of tenderness and comfort provide a healing balm of love and even though you know how foolish you've been, they restore your sense of dignity and worth.

Who of us at some point or the other has not played the part of the prodigal? The promise of the life of sin came up short... it always does. Even though it broke the father's heart, we plunge full steam ahead into the far country of false hope and artificial freedom. The first step toward home is taken in the sincere admission, "I have sinned." Because of human pride, the tragedy is that some wayward sons and daughters needlessly live and die alienated from a father who yearns for their return.

And then there's the older brother. I'm ashamed of it, but I admit that I've lived in his shoes. How much easier it is to point out the failures of others than it is to examine our own hearts and lives. There is a crucial lesson for those among us who would love to serve as judge and jury for the brotherhood...be careful not to reject those whom the Father is willing to forgive and take back home!

The wonderful message of the gospel is that we CAN go home again. Are you one who did not respond to the invitation, but needed to? If you need to come home, the Heavenly Father waits. Will you come?

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward