Saturday, March 30
Whenever I read the Parable of the Two Sons, my instinct is always to side with the older brother. I understand his frustration and confusion. Why is his father so quick to welcome back his younger brother and shower him with gifts? What about him? What about his years of loyalty and faithfulness to his family?
But it never fails, when I read the passage again a second time and a third, the scripture becomes less about the brother who feels wronged and more about the father who is quick to forgive and embrace. I’m reminded this parable isn’t even really about the foolhardy son who leaves and returns. This is about a loving father whose forgiveness knows no bounds. Sound familiar?
We are always welcomed back to the Father’s arms, no matter how far we’ve strayed, how much money we’ve blown, how many mistakes we’ve made. God always takes us back. The father of the two sons also reminds me of Jesus, who at the beginning of Luke 15 is surrounded by tax collectors and sinners and is criticized by the Pharisees and the teachers of the law for being so accepting.
Like the older brother, the father could have rejected his prodigal son. He could have called him a sinner and turned him away. But he feasted with him, as Jesus did with those society shunned.
He rejoiced when his lost son was found, alive once more. How blessed are we to know our Father in heaven does the same.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for your unconditional love that time and again, welcomes us back, no matter how far we’ve strayed. We pray for those who feel lost and yearn to find their way home. May they know your arms are always open. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.