Prodigal son

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
         There was a man who had two sons.
         The younger of them said to his father,
         “Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.”
         So he divided his property between them.

                  —Luke 15.11-12

The reading of the will is supposed to occur after the death of the parent. For the son to ask what he does is saying, “Father, I wish you were dead. Give me your stuff.” Alarmingly, the father consents.

How brazen the lad, we say. How selfish. He doesn’t love his father; he just wants his stuff. And the older son is no better. When the wayward son returns, the older son complains, “You haven’t even given me so much as a goat.” He doesn’t care for his father either. He just wants stuff. Both the sons distance themselves from the father, the older son by his bitterness as much as the younger by his leaving town. Neither one of them expresses love for the father.

How like us they are. I wonder if God’s deepest sadness is that God’s beloved children don’t seem to want God; we just want God’s stuff. How many of our prayers to God are for stuff—fix this disease, thanks for that sunset, protect my child, find me a job. What if instead our deepest prayer were simply “Hold me close?”

No matter what your situation, your desires, your hopes and fears, let your prayer be simply this: “Beloved Mother, Life-giving Father, hold me close. I love you. I want to be with you. Hold me close.”

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

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