"All that I have is thine"

The matchless parable of the prodigal son, recorded in the fifteenth chapter of Luke's Gospel and familiar to all Bible students, not only grows dearer with repeated perusal, but with every reading unfolds fresh beauty and added inspiration.

What a sublime panorama of true existence is disclosed to our clarified vision, and how the beliefs of material life and substance, of joy and happiness in earthly possessions, are then revealed as flickering shadows dwindling before our spiritual gaze until they fade into nothingness! How we sympathize with the wayward wanderer in his futile search for happiness in the world, for sustenance amid the husks of material living; how we rejoice in his awakening remembrance of and quickening regard for his father's love, and his purposeful journey toward his father's house! What a sacrifice of self enabled the prodigal to hold to the humiliating discipline which he had outlined for himself: to return to his father not as a son to be welcomed, sure of his place, but as a hired servitor, counting the tasks to which he might be assigned as a better portion than feeding swine among the husks!

And then with something, perhaps, of his own later reverent wonder and gratitude we joy in the unexpected welcome that ushers him into his waiting place, replaces his tattered garb with the best robe, and reinvests him with all the honor and dignity rightfully his as his father's son, who "was lost, and is found." We sympathize, we rejoice, we are grateful, because in some measure the experience of the prodigal is duplicated by each one of us; and greatly may we rejoice if each of us has so come to himself that progress to the Father has begun, for from the parable of the prodigal son flows the eternal and healing assurance of full pardon and of divine forgiveness that obliterates all trace of wrong and sorrow.

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"Prayer and fasting"
August 9, 1930

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