Just to recap on the sequence of events which have unfolded in this parable:
· The younger son demanded a share of his father’s property even while his father was still alive, left home and plunged himself into wild living in search for excitement and meaning in life.
· After splurging all he had on wild living, famine struck and he was reduced to a feeder of pigs when he decided to return to his father who welcomed him with open arms.
· The younger son was reinstated into the family and a big feast and celebration was held for his return.
So the parable continues…
The Prodigal God: Part 4 (Luke 15:25-30)
By Joanne Liaw Sook Ling (20th June 2012)
The story continues with the older son
Heading back from the fields, much work he has done
The sound of music and dancing caught his ears
He quickened his pace towards home and drew near
Startled, he asked a servant what this meant
‘Your father is celebrating the event
Of your brother who has come home safe and sound
For he was once lost but now he is found’.
His heart was consumed with bitter anger
He stayed outside, his house he would not enter
His father came out and entreated him
To set aside his differences and come in.
His father’s gentle pleading fell on deaf ears
‘Look, I have served you these many years
I have never disobeyed your commands!
But you killed the fattened calf for this son
Of yours who has done so much wrong
And spent your wealth on wine, women and song!
Yet a young goat you could not even spare
For me to celebrate with my friends!’
TO BE CONTINUED…..
Points for Reflection:
Like the older son in this parable,
· Do you have a tendency of comparing yourself with other ‘weaker’ Christians and feel indignant and superior over them?
· Do you rejoice when backsliden Christians return to God or do you feel they are unworthy of God’s forgiveness due to past sins?
· Are you doing Christian works out of obligation instead of doing it in response to God’s grace and love?
· If you are able to identify with the older son now or perhaps in the past, why not ask God to help you rejoice when backsliden Christians return to him?
· To take it a step further, why don’t you start being proactive in encouraging those who have left God to come home? It could be someone who used to attend the same church as you do, perhaps a friend or even your family? I’m sure the faces of those people are emerging in your minds right now so why don’t you take a moment to pray for them and after that think of ways which you can exhort them to return to our heavenly Father?