A modern retelling of the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32), acted out by some of the children at Messy Church at St Martin's
Not long ago there was a rich man with two sons.
The rich man was busy working in his factory office when there was a knock at the door, and Luke, his younger son entered. “Son, it’s great to see you! What brings you home from university?”
“Well, dad,” the young man said, “I want to enjoy my life while I am still young. I don't want to be like Mark and finish university and work here with you. There is a great big world out there and I want to see it, I know that I will come into a lot of money when you die, but I don't want to wait so give me my share now."
His father looked sad. “But, son, have I not given you everything you have ever needed. Why do you want to do such a thing?"
His son became angry.
“I want to live my life my way, I have my own plans and I want to stand on my own two feet." The son always dreamt of having fast cars.... fast women..... and lots of parties.
Surprisingly the rich man gave his son what he asked for, even though it broke his heart to see his son walk off.
Now that Luke had a lot of money, he set out to enjoy himself.
He was doing all the things he wanted to - holidays abroad in the sun, a brand new car, he worse the latest fashion. He certainly had the best of all that life could give him and he was one popular guy. So much was happening now that he didn't have time to think of his family.
However, the money started to run out and when that happened Luke found that his friends also ran out on him.
He tried to get a job but with so many people wanting work he soon found that it wasn't easy. With no money, the only place he could find to sleep was in a doorway of a shop, with cardboard as a mattress.
The only food Luke had was what he could find in the bins around town.
One particularly cold night Luke was woken up by a not so friendly policeman. “You can’t sleep there, haven't you got a home you can go to?” Luke paused a moment and remembered home, how he wished he could be back there.
“I can’t go home, my dad will never forgive me” Luke told the policeman as he got up and left.
Over the next few days Luke spent a lot of time thinking. He knew that he had caused so much hurt by what he had done which he could never put right. However he knew that his father was a good man and treated all the people who worked in his factory well.
Maybe there was a possibility that if he could say the right words his father might let him work at the factory. Luke wasn't really bothered about what work he could do, anything was better than this. So the decision was made to go home, he was sacred of what might happen and he practiced what he would say to his father over and over again.
As Luke approached the family home, his father was looking out of the window, as he had done so every day since Luke had left home, always hoping. When he say Luke coming down the road, at first he didn't believe his eyes, but another look and he recognised the shabby looking person. He rushed out of the house.
“SONNNNNNNNNNNNNNN” the father yelled at the top of his voice, and before Luke could get out a few words of the speech he had prepared he found himself in teh biggest hug from his father.
“Dad I'm so sorr......” Luke tried to start again but his dad wasn't listening.
"Luke I though you were dead but here you are alive!" the rich man cried. "Welcome home, come on in and get out of those clothes, have a bath and we will have a big party to celebrate your return."
The rich man invited his whole family and all his friends to celebrate the return of Luke and he said to all who were there, "The son I thought was dead is alive. I thought we had lost him forever, but now he is safe at home with me."