Red Letter Day 35: The Prodigal Son
2015 Lent Blog
Tuesday March 24
Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, `Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.
After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
“When he came to his senses, he said, `How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. “The son said to him, `Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. “But the father said to his servants, `Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.”
This is the most famous parable of Jesus, mainly known as the Prodigal Son. Prodigal means wasteful and reckless and that describes the actions of the son. However the bulk of this parable focuses on the amazing forgiveness and love of the father. He spies the son at a distance and runs to him. He embraces him and gives him a kiss even before the son can get a word out of his mouth. He gives him a new set of the best clothes and then calls for a party unlike any normal affair. There is no, “I told you so,” or anything like that. He then says this return was a matter of life and death and they were going to celebrate life. Faith is a matter of life and death and what this parable says first and foremost is that the love and grace of God is bigger than we ever deserve or imagine.
In Christ’s Service,