Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Parable of the Prodigal Son

– Luke15: 11 – 32 We know that Jesus taught through parables and that he was a good teacher. He innately knew that people learn in a variety of ways and he was able to incorporate all these into his life… and provide us with a wealth of wisdom to draw from. The teaching we are focusing on today is love and forgiveness. Jesus exemplified this teaching in many ways but one of the most profound is the story of the prodigal son. We have seen how the story looks as it is told in Luke –Now what is the message for us? Today? We can probably relate to one or perhaps even both of the sons. We have one son who obeys his father, who follows all the rules, who does what is expected of him and works hard. Anyone relate to that son? And then we have the son who wants his freedom and independence and to make his own way. Who cannot bear to be living under his father’s roof and wants to experience and make a life for himself. Anyone relate to that son? These represent human situations that perhaps we have experienced ourselves. But is there is much more to this story – let’s have a look. The Father represents God – Creator – Source (whatever name you are comfortable with). And the household is the place where we are consciously connected with God. And probably each and every one of us has left that home at some time or another. We have forgotten that we are Spirit in expression, we have forgotten that we are abundantly provided for – we have forgotten that we are One with Infinite Spirit. We may have done this in our families, within our professions, in relationship to our finances – any number of ways. We have drifted away through inattention or we may have even broken away like the younger son and said “I don’t need anybody, I can do this on my own”. And what happens – perhaps not so dramatically as in this story, but inevitably - we lose ourselves, hopelessness, at the bottom – alone. And then there are those powerful lines in the story when the younger son was in this place of despair…. “and he came to himself” – he remembered who he really was – the perfect child of a loving creator. And he knew he had to return home. He found himself. In these situations we may have experienced this - “what am I doing!?” “How did I end up here?” And then what do we see in this story – the father sees the son coming from a far distance. What does this imply? That the father has been watching for him. The father has not given up on him. The father is expecting his return. The father has not forgotten him. It does not matter what we have done, where we have been. When we come to our senses and come home – everything is there waiting for us – always. And the father rejoices with the return of the younger son and when the dutiful son questions his being so happy for the son that lost the family fortune, the father speaks these profound word of love and forgiveness…….. “My son, you are with me always, everything I have is yours.” We are one with God always – even when we forget, even when we are not aware. And everything that God is – is ours – already – right now. We are one with God - pure Spirit – Infinite Abundance. Our good in whatever form it comes in – cannot be withheld from us. We may walk away from it – but it is never taken away from us. It is the father’s good pleasure to give us the kingdom. Let’s accept it…. and use what we have been given for the good of all.