Thought of the Day July 23, 2018 The Foolish Father

By 9:49 AM

The most beautiful depiction of the Father’s love and mercy, compassion and true desire for us is that told to us in the Parable of the Father and his two sons. I call it the Parable of the Foolish Father. The younger one runs away physically from home, symbolizing his total alienation from the father and the elder stays home, symbolizing obligation but not commitment to the father. The father loves both of them and ministers to each where and as they are.

The younger son couldn’t wait for the father to die. There is no indication that the father had done anything against the son. It was what the father had that motivated the son.  He was a man of means. Once he died, his two sons would share the inheritance.  The older would get two-thirds and the younger one-third.  The younger son couldn’t wait for this. “Old man, as far as I am concerned, you are dead and I want nothing more to do with you. I want my future inheritance now.” The father loved the son and gave him what was not his yet, but what belongs to the father. The father frees him to wish him dead and to be alienated from the father.  He loves him so much he frees him to make his choice even at the expense of the father. This is what God does for us. He gives us the freedom of will to choose to love him in relationship or to reject him through sin.

In time, having seen the result of his decision, now destitute, the younger son lost more than his material inheritance. He lost his self-identity, his self-worth, his self-acceptance. He was a nobody, not even good enough to eat the slop of the pigs. His return to the father’s house was out of hunger and self-preservation.  “I don’t deserve to be your son. Let me be at least a hired hand, a slave.” His shame and guilt remained within him, even though he said: “I have sinned against God and you.” He called him “father” not as a son but as a possible “servant”. (To be continued)

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