RETRORELEASE: Joy in Heaven – God’s Prodigals Return

The culmination of the 4-song retelling of The Prodigal Son is the full-cast “Joy in Heaven”.  This song concludes the first act of the show Hidden Treasures:  A Musical Revue of the Parables of Jesus Christ.  For links to all the songs from this story and the other songs from Luke 15, see this link.

In the 1992 debut of Hidden Treasures, “Joy in Heaven” was sung by a large chorus of “angels” as the song recounts the feelings of God and those in heaven when one of their loved ones turns to God.  For this song’s lyrics, click here.  This video is from the 2005 production of the show, which had a cast of 10 – In this song, every cast member was on stage:  At the end of the song, in the darkness, cast members left the stage, leaving only the Prodigal to sing the closing lyric.  The final “Hallelujah!” was sung by the chorus from behind the audience, and many attendees’ written feedback noted that final angelic “surround sound” was a memorable, spine-tingling thrill!

Is it ever too late to come to God?  In Isaiah 9:11-12 we learn that – because the people broke sacred covenants – God was preparing adversaries to devour Israel…and yet – at any moment – if they would turn to God, he would take them back!  Isaiah paints a picture of this always-extended offer for reconciliation and welcome with the phrase “his hand is stretched out still.”  That offer to accept all who return is still in force today:

In his Oct 2006 Conference address “Prophets in the Land Again,” Jeffrey R. Holland reflected this interpretation of the phrase when he stated,

To all of you who think you are lost or without hope, or who think you have done too much that was too wrong for too long, to every one of you who worry that you are stranded somewhere on the wintry plains of life and have wrecked your handcart in the process, this conference calls out Jehovah’s unrelenting refrain, “[My] hand is stretched out still.” …His is the pure love of Christ, the charity that never faileth, that compassion which endures even when all other strength disappears. I testify of this reaching, rescuing, merciful Jesus, that this is His redeeming Church based on His redeeming love…”

The gospel makes bad men good and good men better.  No matter who you are or what you’ve done, Christ is able to rescue you!  Join me at church this Sunday and let the gospel work for good in your life! Come back and hear the angels sing!

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