Wednesday, April 7

A New Revelation

I grew up attending church from the day I left the hospital as a wee babe.

Considering that I've been hearing Bible stories regularly since then, there isn't much that catches me by surprise...however, the Bible is considered "living and active" and so every time something new catches my attention, I'm amazed and delighted. Here's what I learned yesterday.

Our youth group lesson yesterday was on the Prodigal Son from Luke 15:11-32: a good story about forgiveness. It's about two sons and a dad. The younger son wants to live a wild life and asks his dad for half of the inheritance, not wanting or willing to wait until the dad is dead. The dad gives in and divides his property. The younger son goes away with all his money and lives foolishly, ending up broke and feeding pigs...the only job he could find. Finally he realizes that if he could even just work for his dad, he would be better off than living among the pigs. So he returns home. The dad sees his son in the distance, runs and embraces him, forgives all his mistakes and makes him his son once again. The dad won't hire him but instead puts him in the same place of ownership, position, and status that the son had before.

What just occurred to me is that when the father split the inheritance, the part not given to the younger son was the inheritance of the older son. All that was left belonged to the older son logically. So when the dad embraces and welcomes back the younger son, it's no wonder the older son felt indignant about his brother's return and the subsequent party.

I didn't receive any great truth or life-lesson from this bit of enlightenment. It just enabled me to understand the older son a bit more and to see another part of the story that I hadn't considered. Ultimately, it is harder to forgive others when we feel entitled, which I imagine is what the older brother struggled with in this story.

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