A few years ago, while assembling a playlist for my yoga classes, a song by the late Rich Mullins,“Growing Young,” kept coming to mind. It is a first-person, modern interpretation of the prodigal son, and the song set the theme for the playlist I was assembling. We all need a prodigal playlist: songs that called us back to our Father’s house, no matter how far we’ve wandered.
In a 1994 live recording of the song, Rich Mullins strums the guitar alongside his best friend and co-writer, Beaker. He introduces the song as one that was written quickly and easily for two reasons: it was their testimony, and it was the story of the lost son:
And when I thought that I was all alone
It was your voice I heard calling me back home
And I wonder now Lord
What it was that made me wait so long
And what kept You waiting for me all that time
Was Your love stronger than my foolish pride
Will You take me back now, take me back and let me be Your child
Rich Mullins and Beaker are not the only ones whose testimonies are those of prodigal sons. Whether or not we’ve spent our inheritance and lived with pigs, we’ve all fallen prey to foolish pride. We’ve all heard a voice calling us home that we ignore. We all live by a prodigal playlist. Every saint has been a prodigal. But every prodigal can also be transformed into a saint through God’s grace.
In the last minute of the video, Rich Mullins looks directly into the camera, smiles, and sings,
We’ve sinned and grown old
But our Father still waits
And he watches down the road
To see the crying boy come running back to his arms.
So, dear friends, let us smile not just at the thought of running to God. Let us smile through our tears as we actually run to him right now–and “grow young” as his beloved children.
all good things to each of you,
Lectionary Texts for April 7, 2019