Read Brett Rickey's Boomerang: The Return of the Prodigal Son Rickey tells the story from the perspective of father, son, and brother.
“…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 15:32
For years I thought the story of the prodigal son concerned the delinquent who took his father’s inheritance, left town, and squandered it on wild partying in a far-away city. After all, my Bible subtitles the story “The Lost Son”, and that sounds like the loser, right?
But that’s just half the story.
Perhaps more significant is the other brother, the one who remained at home faithfully serving on the family estate. We can imagine him rising early to tend barns or herd animals or maybe balance the books. He spent his coffee breaks beside his dad, his workday with fellow employees, and evenings lounging in the mansion. His identity and resources were shaped by company loyalty and commitment, and he enjoyed the benefits of being the owner’s son, the master’s child.
But when his brother returned, and dad threw the party for his safe arrival, the stay-at-home sibling went ballistic, blasting his father for celebrating his no-good brother. He reminded his father that he had been faithful, yet not once had dad thrown a party for him and his buddies.
And then the father spoke something like, “All I have is yours, and you’ve had access to my resources all this time. Is that not good enough? Your brother not only lost the benefit of home and food, but more importantly of relationship with us. He’s a broken and hurt young man. But now he’s back, and family is restored!”
We are so quick to lose sight of God’s blessings as we remain in Him. Why do we become like the stay-at-home brother and complain about His overwhelming love for people who go astray and then return? We can learn so much from our heavenly father’s extravagant love.
Dear God, I am wonderfully blessed in relationship with you. Help me celebrate when repentant people return to you.
Reflect on the following: Who has shown signs of returning to God in your world? How can you celebrate their good choices to move closer to God the Father?