We wanted to get you ready for conversations with your kids about things they’ve been talking about and learning during our BELONG Sunday morning youth meetings. This Sunday’s talk is called the “The Prodigal”, and we hope you and your kids will have some really good conversations around this theme!
It’s one of the most famous stories Jesus ever told, the story of the lost son. And while many of us read this story and think about how much God loves us, and about His grace and mercy, the reality is that Jesus told this story to illustrate something very specific. Something most of us completely ignore. Because at the heart of the story of the prodigal is a story about how we show God’s love to one another.
Read these two passages in Luke 15:1-2 and 11-31:
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.
The first passage gives us the background of what was going on that prompted Jesus to tell the story in the second passage.
Knowing the context of why Jesus was telling this story (in Luke 15:1-2), how could this affect the way your family responds to “lost sons” both within your extended family and in your church?
Make this part of your conversations with your kids this week. And stay tuned for the Second Part of this Parent Cue.
Youth Ministry Team