The Wayward Son

Jesus taught the value of a penitent soul
By the lost sheep restored to the fold
By the woman who searched for the lost coin,
How she found it with joy untold.

Then He told of the joy of the angels,
How they rejoiced around God’s great throne,
Over one soul that  repented
And was restored to a heavenly home.

Next, He spoke of a certain man
Who had two sons at home.
The younger one did not appreciate it all,
So he decided to roam.

He came to his father with a request;
Give me the share of the goods that are mine.
The father divided unto them his living.
The father was loving and kind.

Not many days had passed before
The younger took what his father was giving.
He journeyed into a far country
And wasted it with riotous living.

There arose a great famine in the land
He began to be in great need .
He joined himself to a citizen
Whose swine he was to feed.

He became very hungry.
He would have eaten the swine’s food,
For no man gave him anything.
He felt alone and very subdued.

But when he came to himself,
He thought of father and home
He thought of how good life was
Before he decided to roam.

He knew there was abundant food.
The servants had plenty to eat.
There was even food to spare.
His memories seemed so sweet.

I will arise and go to my father
And I will say to him-
I have sinned against heaven
And I have sinned against you
I’m not the son I should have been.

He arose and came to his father
But when he was a great distance away
The father saw him and had compassion
He had anxiously awaited this day!

The father ran, fell on his neck and kissed him.
The son had a confession to make-
I’m not worthy to be called  thy son.
The father said we must celebrate.

Bring forth the best robe and put on him
Put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet.
Kill the fatted calf and be merry
Make sure we have plenty to eat.

For this my son is alive again,
He was lost but now is found.
Let us all be happy and celebrate
And with dancing and music abound.

Now the older brother was in the field
As he came and drew near to the house,
He heard the music and dancing
He enquired what the joy was about.

The servant told him, your brother has come
Your father has received him safe and sound
He has also killed the fatted calf
Therefore music and joy does abound.

But he was angry and would not go in
So the father with him did plead.
The son said to his father—
Lo these many years I have served you
And all your commandments did heed,
Yet you never gave me even a young goat,
That I might make merry with my friends
But as soon as this thy son has come;
The one who wasted thy living with harlots!
The fatted calf is killed for him.

The father said, Son thou art ever with me
And all that I have is thine
But this thy brother was dead and is alive
He was lost and now is found
We should make merry and rejoice
And not with each other strive!

Friend, you may be the one who has strayed
You have gone back in the world to roam.
Just know that our Father is waiting for you
He wants you to come back home.

Come back and be restored to your family
And inherit the blessings untold.
Just know you can save your soul from death
That’s worth more than silver and gold.

There will be great rejoicing in heaven
Among the angels around God’s great throne.
For one who was lost and now is found.
Who has found his way back home.

And, to you who have never strayed away
Make sure that you welcome him back.
Don’t be like the older brother
For he was on the wrong track.

D. Arbaugh

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