Let’s Celebrate

Luke 15:21–24 (NASB 95)

21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly 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 fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.

Examine / Explain

The son had returned to the father. He felt unworthy of being called a son, and his mind was set on being a hired worker for his father. But the father saw him differently. He looks at his son through the lens of compassion. His son was placed in a position of praise and was celebrated for coming home.

How do I apply this to my life?

I don’t have the capacity inside me at the moment to comprehend being celebrated. I know I just did a journal on this same passage, but something came to be in my meditation. In my dwelling on the word, I found I don’t know how to be celebrated. From my youth, I have seen my birthdays as just another day. Waiting until lunch to see what Santa could happen, I am not phased by waiting for something to celebrate me. This may sound selfish and prideful, but let’s examine the story. The son was celebrated for returning home after walking away from the family. If I place myself as the prodigal son, even after returning home and being told I am in the family. I get a robe, the ring, and the party, all I can think is I am still unworthy. I would still only see myself as a hired worker, even though my father would see me as the returned son. How does one celebrate if all they can think is I should still be a hired hand? What does he celebrate? How does this thinking translate to my actual walk with God? How does God see me? How do I see Him? As a foreman, giving me a day’s wage to do work? When I don’t perform well, I wait for the punishment of not meeting a goal. The Father sees me as co-heir with Christ! His righteousness was placed on me, and yet I still see myself as the hired help. That has to be insulting to God. Jesus died the death that I deserved and should have received. He literally took my place so I could be right with God. So I could be adopted as one of His sons, and I can’t accept the fact of being His son. How prideful! I don’t doubt my salvation, but to not see myself being who I am in Christ feels like I am actually rejecting God. I want to be associated with Him, but some areas of my life don’t belong to Him. Is there a process of working out your salvation? Yes! But isn’t the first step accepting the image of who we are and living out of that knowledge? 

What is my response?

Father, I am Your son. I should be living like it. I should be able to celebrate who I am. I must be able to be excited when I see You moving and blessing things in my life. Do I get a little stir when I see You might be on display? Sure. But I am broken. I want to be more excited. I want to shout in celebration at the goodness and greatness that is God. How can I shout when all I see is Your goodness from a distance? I am on the outside looking in. I am on the Father’s property; I can help tend the grounds and the sheep, but I dare not elevate myself to being in the family. THIS IS CRAZY! Father, I declare that I stop believing the lies of only being a hired helper. I affirm sonship over my life! Help me live this out. Give me what I need to keep moving forward with understanding my place in the world, Your kingdom. Amen.


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