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A green and gold field at sunrise with a road running through it where we are welcoming the prodigal home.

Welcoming the Prodigal: A Daily Meditation 

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When faced with the pain of being abandoned by loved ones, the biblical story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:20 offers a touching lesson on forgiveness and redemption:

“So he [the son] got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.”

Luke 15:20 Amplified Bible

In this story, the father’s compassionate response to his wayward son’s return teaches us how to react to those who have left our lives or communities. 

In contrast to the father’s warm embrace, the eldest son’s resentment highlights the complexity of human emotions when dealing with betrayal and reconciliation. Through Jesus’ parable, we are reminded of God’s unwavering love. We remember His readiness to welcome us back, regardless of our past actions. 

The eldest son’s outburst of anger and feelings of injustice reflect our natural tendency to hold onto resentment toward those who have wronged us. Yet, the father’s response demonstrates divine forgiveness. He expresses the joy of reunion, showing the grace and compassion that God extends to all who seek redemption. 

Ultimately, the story of the prodigal son goes beyond a biblical story. It offers deep insights into human relationships, forgiveness, and the power of love and acceptance. It challenges us to imitate the father’s unconditional love and mercy, even when faced with betrayal and hurt. The story guides us toward healing and reconciliation for both the abandoned and the one who left. 


Lord thank You for being there for me even when I’ve wronged You. Thank You for coming and embracing me when I’ve walked away from the faith. Take away any unforgiveness that I’ve been holding onto. And when I see someone who has left me or the faith, let my first reaction be the same as Yours. Give me the strength to embrace them and love them. In Your name I pray, amen 


Listen now to the short version of this Abide meditation, “Welcoming the Prodigal,” based on Luke 15:20. Let God speak to your heart about forgiveness and reconciliation.

Download the Abide app to experience the full-length versions of more meditations like “Welcoming the Prodigal.” A premium subscription will gain you access to our entire library of content. Use this link for 25% off.


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