Story reference: Luke 15:11-24
Little Bro had a lot of nerve to demand his share of the inheritance while Dad was still in good health. He figured that what The World had to offer was far better than anything he had at home.
So he went to a distant country—distant not just geographically but spiritually and emotionally as well. He dabbled and tasted and downright imbibed and it was all so exciting and fun until he got on The World’s dark side—and found out it had fangs. It took his last cent and Little Bro realized The World had only been pretending to fill up the empty spots in his heart.
He made one last, desperate attempt to do things his way but only found himself lower than a pig in a mud puddle. Those who once claimed they had abundant life to offer couldn’t or wouldn’t help him because they were just as empty and vain as he was.
He now knew he’d thrown away the foundation and core of all he truly needed. His dad showered even his employees with more than enough. Little Bro figured he was long past the point of no return as a son but maybe Dad would let him come in as a “basement level employee.”
And so he staggered home. On the way, he refused to admit his worst fears—that he would face only angry rejection.
What he didn’t expect was the embrace that nearly knocked the breath out of him, the tears that ran from Dad’s eyes down the ragged shirt on Little Bro’s back. There was not one mention of his utter foolishness, not one word of censure. Instead he was received with such a generous, glad welcome that he knew nothing he could ever do would change what he inherently was—a beloved, forever son. The utter bankruptcy of what the world had to offer stood in stark comparison against the unparalleled wealth of his father’s love. Little Bro had experienced the grace that superabounded unimaginably far over, above, and beyond his sin. And he understood that his father’s love and acceptance did not depend on the son’s behavior or character but on the father’s character and goodness.
His sin had hurt his father deeply but the deeper the pain, the more extravagant the love.
Little Bro been forgiven much and now he loved much. And he was so overcome that he never wanted to go away again.