The story of the prodigal son is a pretty familiar passage of scripture. It’s quite possible to have never read the bible and still be familiar with the overall theme of this story.
You can read the full passage in Luke 15. A very quick summary is that a man has two sons. One asks for his inheritance, leaves home, squanders his inheritance and hits rock bottom. The son decides to return to his father, comes up with an “I’m not worthy plan” in attempt to fill his belly. It goes far better than expected. The father runs to his son and embraces him and throws him a party.
I know, there are two sons. I have decided that you are at some point in your life one of if not both sons in this story.
The other son stays with the father and when his obnoxious brother returns empty handed, he gets mad at the love and grace shown to his brother and throws a pity party (I don’t blame him for that).
The Father’s actions show both sons love and grace and mercy. The Father shows both sons that their standing as his children has not been affected by their dumb choices. While reading the passage, it seems that the wild son that left and lost everything was the “worse” brother. It’s more obvious but the more I look at it, we are pretty even stevens here. Both were misguided and distracted. Both had taken their eyes off their identity. Both were shown grace and mercy by a father who loved them both best.
How am I like the brother who stayed? Amazing how a message where my husband handed out sticks to everyone in the church, pinpoint an area in your (my) life where you are the other son… (how do you get the Prodigal Son out of Exodus…listen here).
When my cynicism gets the best of me: I don’t want to talk about it but I have to. My cynicism makes me the other son. Every time.
When my judgement makes me feel superior instead of heartbroken: Do I want to judge my brother’s bad behavior or do I want to run as fast as my father because of love and gratitude over my brother’s return? If I am whining instead of celebrating, I have missed the real big point. You can listen to a whole sermon series on judgement here.
When I feel like I deserve something in my timing, over trusting God’s timing in working things out in (and through) my life: Does this need an explanation?
Anyone else with me? If it is just my own, I’m ok with this little public confession. I had to get it out there. If not, it turns to pride before you had a chance to notice…and pride is not a good look on anyone. When we think we know better than God, we are the other son.
It’s Monday and Monday’s can tend to overwhelm for a lot of reasons. Tonight, I sat down to a familiar passage of scripture in light of my current feelings. Ephesians is one of my favorite books in the new testament. I wanted to underline certain parts for effect but just read and take in the whole thing. This was Paul’s prayer for this church, this is a prayer I pray over mine…and tonight, I prayed it over myself. Regardless of what son (or daughter) I feel like in a moment, he is working, he has called you and it’s HIS immeasurable greatness.
Identity in check. Eye on the prize, Ortiz…he’s got this.
Now that I have reminded myself, please read and take your time reading and praying through Ephesians 1:15-20.
15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love[f] toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might