Sunday, October 16, 2011

Parable of the Lost Sons

Lesson: The Father's heart is full of compassion

1. Story: Tell the parable of The Lost Sons based on Luke 15:11-31You can choose to get kids to act the story out as you narrate, with props (e.g. fake money, ring, shoes etc)

2. Lesson:
  • This is a story about a Father and 2 Sons.
  • Younger Son:
    •  The younger son wanted his share of inheritance now — akin to wishing his father was dead.
    •  He abused his sonship — squandered all he had.
    •  But when he was in need and hungry, he came to his senses: "In my father's house, there's more than enough."
    •  Felt unworthy to be a son. Wanted to return to the father as a servant.
    • But the father's heart was full of compassion — he saw him coming from a far off and ran to his son.
    • As soon as his son tried to make his speech to appease him, the father cut him off before he could finish.
    • He affirmed his sonship with: best robe, ring, sandals, fattened calf etc — signs of sonship not servanthood. 
  • Elder Son: 
    • Unlike the younger son, or the earlier parables of the lost sheep and lost coin, the elder brother was with the father all the time.
    •  However, he was also “lost” — because he had a servant mentality. He did not recognise his own sonship. He saw himself as “slaving for the father” and only deserving of a young goat.
    • Once again, it was the father who went to reach out to his son and affirm his sonship.
  • What son/child are we?
    • Are we the son who abuses our position? Do we think that whatever we do is too much for our Father to forgive us?
    • Are we the elder brother who doesn’t understand our position and sees ourselves as servants who have to slave for our Father?
    • Or are we the children who know our position in Christ? Who understand our Father’s heart?

  • 2 key lessons from this parable:
    • Our Father's House has more than enough
      • We don’t need to go anywhere else. God provides for all our needs and wants. We are safe and protected in Him, no matter what happens.

    • The Father's Heart is full of compassion
      • He loves us unconditionally. He wants to shower us with His kindness and goodness. He runs to us when we are down. He reaches out to us when we are angry. That’s the Father we all have.

    • Do you know that you are God's child and He is your Father? 
      • Do you know God has more than enough for you? That He is full of compassion for you?

3. Activity Suggestion (attached)

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