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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Families, Prodigals and Turkeys [2]

Let’s review the first part of this parable.

A man had two sons and the younger son insisted on getting his inheritance right away, took the money and left to see the world. He went away and exhausted all his funds on wild living and the good life, although I cannot imagine what that meant in New Testament times compared to now. I mean, it's not like he could go to Las Vegas...anyway.

He ended up penniless, starving and depressed in the mud and mess of a pig-sty. When he finally came to his senses, he confessed to God that he had sinned and he headed home.

This boy was understandably anxious. He wasn’t sure how his father would receive him, so he had prepared himself psychologically to accept a job as a servant.

But when his father saw him, he ran to meet him. The father hugged his son and showered him with kisses. The father then dressed his son, this son, in a fine new robe, gave him a family ring, put shoes on his feet and killed the fattened calf. They had a wonderful celebration.

The lost has been returned. All is well. Happy, happy, joy, joy! Everyone is back home together singing Hava Nagila and dancing and …

And, you know, this would have been a cute little story if ended there, but Jesus was / is trying to teach us something…about ourselves. Actually, he was teaching the Pharisees about the love that God has for us and the love we should have for each other. So, this applies to us as well.

Let’s pick up the story at verse 25:

"Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. "Your brother has come," he replied, "and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.

The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, "Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!"

"My son," the father said, "you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found." -- Luke 15:25-32


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