{RE:} Repent and Run!

Wednesday: Repent & Run!

Today we are going to read a familiar parable of Jesus about a prodigal who returns. Often we read this story and reflect on the love of the father, a lavish and forgiving love that is worth daily reflection! But this morning, as you read, imagine yourself in the place of the son who is in a far country.

Read: Luke 15 (NRSV)

Then Jesus said, "There was a man who had two sons.
The younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.'
So he divided his property between them. And few days later, the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his field to feed the pigs.

But when he came to himself (came to his senses) he said, "How many of my father's hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands."

So he set off and went to his father.
But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him.


It's hard to admit that we don't have it all figure out. I think this might be part of the reason that repentance is such an unpopular topic. Repentance requires an honest assessment of our situation. Even worse, it requires us to own whatever part of that situation is the result of our decisions and actions.

  • Do you have a hard time seeing or admitting when you're lost, wrong, or things get messy? Do you try to project an image of "having it together"? Do you think this might keep you from regular repentance? 

The prodigal son could have just stuck it out in the pig pen. He could have found a way to "hustle" for success so that he never had to admit he took the wrong road. But instead, he decided to face his mess head on. Even thought he knew that he would need to face the father that he disrespected and ran from, he believed it would be better to be "home" with his father that to stay with the pigs.

So the son returned home - he repented. He faced his chaos, owned his part in it, humbled himself, and turned back to his father.

  • Are there any situations in your life where you have decided it's easier to just "stay in the pig pen" because it might be too much work to go home?
  • Do you try to fix your own messy situations? Does this ever keep you from turning to God in the midst of them?
  • What do you think is the hardest part of repentance for you personally? Why?

We all know how the story ends - with a father who ties up his robe and runs toward his lost son in love and forgiveness. If you've ever been afraid to repent, or even admit, a certain situation in your life, I can promise you that God is waiting and ready to run toward you!

If we want to live transformed and resurrected lives, it has to start with us "coming to our senses" - let's be honest enough to face our mess and brave enough to run back home!


O God of Grace,

Thou hast imputed my sin to my substitute,

    and has imputed his righteousness to my soul,

        clothing me with a bridegroom’s robe,

        decking me with jewels of holiness.

But in my Christian walk I am still in rags;

    my best prayers are stained with sin;

    my penitential tears are so much impurity;

    my confessions of wrong are so many aggravations of sin;

    my receiving the Spirit is tinctured with selfishness.


I need to repent of my repentance;

I need my tears to be washed;

I have no robe to bring to cover my sins,

    no loom to weave my own righteousness;

I am always standing clothed in filthy garments,

    and by grace am always receiving change of raiment,

    for thou dost always justify the ungodly;

I am always going into the far country,

    and always returning home as a prodigal,

    always saying, Father, forgive me,

    and thou art always bringing forth the best robe.

Every morning let me wear it,

    every evening return in it,

    go out to the day’s work in it,

    be married in it,

    be wound in death in it,

    stand before the great white throne in it,

    enter heaven in it shining as the sun.

Grant me never to lose sight of

    the exceeding sinfulness of sin,

    the exceeding righteousness of salvation,

    the exceeding glory of Christ,

    the exceeding beauty of holiness,

    the exceeding wonder of grace.

- A Puritan Prayer


Susan Blais - March 30th, 2022 at 5:13am

I remember vividly when I decided to enter into my first marriage at 18 years old. My mother and father tried desperately to help me see that this may be wrong for me. Even the Priest came over and tried to reason with me. However, I was sure that I should marry this man because when I tried to break off our relationship He said he would kill himself. I was naïve enough to think that regardless how I felt, that I should go forward with this marriage. About 10 years later I “came to my senses“ and ended that marriage. Like the prodigal son, I thought I knew better than anyone else. I have repented to God for this mistake in my life, but for a long time I repeated this repentance over and over again. I never really discussed this with my parents directly, but they knew better than I all the time. God has blessed me with a wonderful second marriage. I am so grateful to God for giving me my husband Jeffrey. Please pray for me today yes we have had to call 911 for an attack of a – Fib. I am feeling much better No and I was able to remain home.

Peg Ash - March 30th, 2022 at 5:46am

I am definitely so glad that God was there to put his arms around you and help you to get better and remain at home. I will also continue to pray for you for her sweet arms to be always wrapped around you and Jeff. So happy that you have found such a beautiful person like Joe to spend your life with🙏🙏

Nick Tebordo - March 30th, 2022 at 5:25am

Susan, I am praying for you and Jeff. I am so thankful the a fib resolved and you were able to stay home. I am so thankful for your marriage to Jeff! As I reflect on our lesson today, I remember being burdened by shame and coming home. Today, at communion I will be remembering that First Love faith-coming to Christ and finding sweet forgiveness. God called my name! Like Susan, there were times when I would repent again and again. I recognize now that the forgiveness was complete and the robe of righteousness was extended to me by a God who loved me unconditionally. Our God is full of mercy and grace !

Linda Comstock - March 30th, 2022 at 7:15am

Repenting to God is the easy part, when I'm aware of my sin. Repenting to a person takes allot of humbleness on my part which is what I need more of. Lord I need Your help in this area. Help me to be aware of Your expectations of repentenance and humbleness. Praising God Susan that Afib came under control and you were able to stay home.

Melody - March 30th, 2022 at 7:26am

This line from the prayer really stands out to me today:

"I have no loom to weave my own righteousness"

I'm so guilty of this! I try to problem solve and logic my way out of every tight spot and tight situation. If I'm in a pigpen, I'll look around for a big board that can be used as a ramp and walk up out of there an garbage, risking a hard fall back to the ground, rather than ask someone for help. So many times, this has included God -- but I'm learning to bring things to him first, rather than as a last resort.

David Edelstein - March 30th, 2022 at 10:28am

Often we don't sink as far down as wallowing in a pig farm where we just languish and the stink is not so bad. Then we don't recognize our desperate need to repent.




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