20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ Luke 15: 20-21 (ESV)

I have a couple of favorite movies, but honestly, I’m not much of a movie guy. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say I’ve slept through more movies over the years than I’ve watched all the way through. To be fair, it takes a lot to keep my attention. Life is too short to sit through a bland movie or push through a boring book. I like to give things a fair chance, and then if it doesn’t interest me, so long as I’m not being rude, move on to something that does. With that said, when something does strike me, I become engrossed. I’ll watch the movie or show and become oblivious to what’s going on around me. I’ll read the book and not put it down. Man, there is something about being captivated by a good storyline. You know it’s a good story when it has the power to draw you in, not once but every time you come across it.

Friends, this is the case with this week’s parable. I don’t care how many times I’ve studied it. I don’t care how many sermons I’ve heard preached on it. I will stop and listen and pick up and read anything spoken, produced, or written on Luke 15. Every time I engage with the story of the prodigal son, I learn something new, I see another nuance, and feel another tinge of conviction. It is quite possibly the greatest story ever told. Seriously, just read the verses above. How captivating is that scene? Each time I read it, I feel like I’m there. I can see the father run. I can feel the father’s hug. And I think that’s the point. You are the son. Read the passage again and take it in. Allow yourself to be immersed. It’s all of our story. And this week, it is my absolute pleasure to share my captivation with you.

Pastor Jerry Lingenfelter