"I will arise and go to my father"

Centuries have passed since Jesus, our dear Master, taught by parables the great truth that the one God is an ever-present source of help to mankind, available to them in the ratio that they understand and demonstrate the true nature of Deity. Christians of today gratefully acknowledge that time has not lessened the effectiveness of Jesus' method of teaching by parables, as seen by the frequent use, in song and sermon, of the story of the prodigal son, recounted in the fifteenth chapter of Luke. It is also probable that they would agree with the statement of Mrs. Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, on page 91 of "Retrospection and Introspection," "The parable of 'the prodigal son' is rightly called 'the pearl of parables.'" Did our Leader thus designate this beautiful word picture because therein may be found the clearest illustration of the loving fatherliness of the divine Being, whom humanity calls God?

Many students of Christian Science derive immense comfort from contemplating some of the salient points in this narrative, among which are: the awakening that came to the prodigal son, signified by his declaration, "I will arise and go to my father;" his return to his father's house, which he had so willfully left; and the satisfactory result of his going back to the parental roof. From this last step the very acme of hope and encouragement may be gained.

Those familiar with the parable under consideration will recall that "when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him." Following the free confession of his sins, which evidenced humility and genuine repentance, the son found himself received once more into his now truly appreciated home—the loved recipient of all the honors and blessings within his father's power to bestow. His mistakes forgiven, he doubtless felt free to go forward on life's grand highway, stronger because of the lesson he had been obliged to learn.

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Only One Voice
February 20, 1937

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