Tuesday, March 16, 2010

- Home

Montreal has a very gifted young singer/songwriter whose name is Rex Verzosa. Rex is a sweetie-pie of a guy who is originally from the Philippines.  We sang at the same concert one evening several years ago.

He's written a beautiful song called "Home", interpreted here by Gary Valenciano, also from the Philippines. Take a listen . . .

Rex's song is based on that famous parable of The Prodigal Son, found in the New Testament. This is the story Jesus told of a good Jewish family badly fractured, first by greed and selfishness of the younger son, then by envy & resentment of the older.  

The younger son tells his father he wants his share of the inheritance - not when the father dies, but immediately. Here's what one Bible commentator says about this:

"Considering that this property would have only been given to the son upon his father’s death, it is clear that this son may as well just say to his father, “you are dead to me.”  It would have been a stinging slap to the face for this father, yet he complies with the request. 

"The younger son then predictably squanders the whole inheritance in dissolute living, descending into such poverty that he desires the food being eaten by the pigs.  To those listening to Jesus, the point would have been clear: This young man is even lower than the pig, an undeniably unclean animal in Jewish culture.  He is beyond unclean."

Here's the parable in full. I've chosen "The Message", a version of the Bible that is so fresh to read because it's not a translation, per se, but more of an interpretation from the original languages into very modern English:

"Then (Jesus) said, "There was once a man who had two sons. The younger said to his father, 'Father, I want right now what's coming to me.' So the father divided the property between them. It wasn't long before the younger son packed his bags and left for a distant country. 

"There, undisciplined and dissipated, he wasted everything he had. After he had gone through all his money, there was a bad famine all through that country and he began to hurt. He signed on with a citizen there who assigned him to his fields to slop the pigs. He was so hungry he would have eaten the corncobs in the pig slop, but no one would give him any.

"That brought him to his senses. He said, 'All those farmhands working for my father sit down to three meals a day, and here I am starving to death. I'm going back to my father. I'll say to him, Father, I've sinned against God, I've sinned before you; I don't deserve to be called your son. Take me on as a hired hand.' He got right up and went home to his father.

"When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. The son started his speech: 'Father, I've sinned against God, I've sinned before you; I don't deserve to be called your son ever again.'

"But the father wasn't listening. He was calling to the servants, 'Quick. Bring a clean set of clothes and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then get a grain-fed heifer and roast it. 

"We're going to feast! We're going to have a wonderful time! My son is here—given up for dead and now alive! Given up for lost and now found!' And they began to have a wonderful time.

"All this time his older son was out in the field. When the day's work was done he came in. As he approached the house, he heard the music and dancing. Calling over one of the houseboys, he asked what was going on. 

He told him, 'Your brother came home. Your father has ordered a feast—barbecued beef!—because he has him home safe and sound.'

"The older brother stalked off in an angry sulk and refused to join in. His father came out and tried to talk to him, but he wouldn't listen. 

The son said, 'Look how many years I've stayed here serving you, never giving you one moment of grief, but have you ever thrown a party for me and my friends? Then this son of yours who has thrown away your money on whores shows up and you go all out with a feast!'

"His father said, 'Son, you don't understand. You're with me all the time, and everything that is mine is yours—but this is a wonderful time, and we had to celebrate. 

This brother of yours was dead, and he's alive! He was lost, and he's found!'"  - Luke 15:11-32

And the point of this parable? I believe Jesus told it to illustrate the marvelous grace of God that welcomes us "Home" with open arms, even when we've ignored Him, cursed or insulted Him, deserted Him . . . or even returned to Him with questionable motives, like an empty stomach, so to speak, or a desire to be rescued from our foolish mistakes, or any number of reasons other than simply for the joy of a relationship with Him.

He welcomes us back and He welcomes us enthusiastically, because of His mercy and because of His great love for us.

And it's the one reason I'm here today, feeling safe & secure despite all my circumstances; content to face whatever comes my way. Because like the prodigal in the story, I, too, am truly "Home".


  1. Wow, what a voice and what a song.


  2. God is so good!!! I had my bible study today and we studied the parable of the prodigal son. Then I came home and read your blog and listened to that beautiful song. I think God is trying to teach me something today:) Thank you for being you.

    I love you,

  3. That is an amazing song and such a great story. We all could learn a valuable lesson from this one. God is always there for us. He will never leave us or forsake us. Thanks for sharing this one Wendy. Blessings to you today.