“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry."
This communion ritual shows us this story every week. We have come home to the great, good God. Come to our senses. Confessed our sin. We are welcomed as loved children. Named as His son, His daughter. God makes us family members, and throws a huge feast for us. Where we often expect to work as servants to pay off the debt we’ve racked up, God shoves that thinking away. No, you once were lost but now are found. You were dead, but are alive again. This calls for a party, not an accounting. Of course we aren’t worthy to be called God’s children.
We renew God’s covenant of grace with us here. It’s His idea, and He wants to remind us week by week of the forgiving Father’s lavish feast for prodigals. Every one of us is a prodigal in some sense. We don’t have to rebelliously leave home and party with the wild crowd to sin against God and incur deserved condemnation. But in Christ, there is no condemnation. Instead there is a crown.