Luke 15:11-16 (NIVUK)
11 Jesus continued: ‘There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, “Father, give me my share of the estate.” So he divided his property between them. 13 ‘Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
There is so much in this story, it is a classic by a master storyteller. Reading it again now, I am struck by the father’s generosity: he gives everything he has to his children, holding nothing back. Is he naive in giving everything meaning that he is totally dependent on them? Is he foolish, not taking into account their selfishness or immaturity? Maybe, but it says something of his heart and priorities. Parables aren’t allegories, the father ≠ God, our Father, but the father here surely reveals something about our Father. He isn’t naive, he knows us perfectly, and yet despite our brokenness and selfishness he gives to us extravagantly, with unconditional love.
Heavenly Father, you have given us so many good things. Thank you for your abundant, undeserved love.