The 4th Sunday of Lent – 31 Mar 2019 – Luke 15:11-32 ~ lost and found

Fourth Sunday of Lent

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Opening Prayer

God of compassion, you await the sinner’s return and spread a feast to welcome home the lost.

Save us from the temptations that lead away from you, and draw us back by the constancy of your love, that we may take our place in your household and gladly share our inheritance with others.

Grant this through Christ, our liberator from sin, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, holy and mighty God for ever and ever.

“Good Good Father” – Chris Tomlin


Gospel Reading: Luke 15:11-32 (NLT)

Parable of the Lost Son

To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.

“A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.

“When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’

“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’

“But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.

“Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, and he asked one of the servants what was going on. ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’

“The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’

“His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”


Heavenly Father: You love us and happily welcome us home from our distress in far countries.  Hear our prayers and show us your mercy –

+ That all who follow your Son, Jesus Christ, may return home to your embrace during this season  of Lent….
+ That people who have quarreled with each other may be reconciled to you and one another….
+ That families experiencing difficulties and conflict may learn to forgive one another as you have forgiven them….
+ That believing communities in every country may live in peace and be respected….
+ That believers who are suffering great persecution may be delivered from evil and their lives restored….

Heavenly Father: Show us your mercy and rescue us from the darkest places of our exile. Restore us to our families and faith communities, that heaven and earth might rejoice in our return to your household. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

“Lion and the Lamb” – Big Daddy Weave


Blessing – 1 Corinthians 5:20-21

We are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!