September 9

O my people, what have I done to you?  In what have I worried you?  Answer me!  Micah 6:3

The father said to the older son,”Son you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.  But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and is found.”  Luke 15:31

The father’s words to his older son were caring words. What might we say to this boy today?  “Get over it!”  “Don’t be so selfish”.  “Count your blessings.”  Oops. Wrong things to say.   The father’s words were better and yet the son did not receive them well as he certainly would not like ours or take them to heart. But the point of the story is not about words but about love and transformation even in the midst of difficult circumstances.

Henri Nouwen wrote a book entitled THE RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL SON. He was so taken with a painting of the same name by Rembrandt that he traveled to Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) to see it up close.  After meditating, he decided to write the book in which he describes unconditional love and forgiveness as necessary to the soul.

Why did Luke include this well loved story in his writing?  What can we learn from it? We can learn that if we turn away from God, He will welcome us back with open and loving arms. We can learn that a human response to perceived unfairness might be jealousy and resentment even after a reasonable explanation. We can learn that this father did it God’s way with total and unconditional forgiveness and love.

Dear Lord,  we continue to be amazed by what you have done for us.  Help us to learn anew each day and give us ever grateful hearts.  Amen

Joan Perlich