Everyday Spirituality

Everyday Spirituality


The Prodigal Son’s Older Brother

posted by Cheryl Petersen

The parable of the prodigal son, found in Luke 15, provides nutrient for those of us who feel lost in the world. The story is about a man who has 2 sons. The younger son, full of ambition and ardor, wanted his inheritance early. The father gave it to him, but the son promptly wasted it all, and found himself destitute.

The younger son eventually went back to his father. The father kissed him and brought him home and threw a party for him. The level of forgiveness and joy seem indescribably welcoming as we read the parable of the prodigal son, however, years ago, I also took in another view of the story that helped me in a time of need.

I was pregnant and woke one night in discomfort. While lying in bed, I thought about the parable of the prodigal son. I didn’t relate at first, because I wasn’t feeling like a lost, destitute soul, but I thought further and considered the older brother’s experience.

The older brother had stayed with the father, and continued working, while his younger brother was out goofing off. But, when he saw his dad had thrown a party for the naughty, lazy brother, the older son got upset. Basically asking his dad, “Why do you give him a party, and ignore me, even after I’ve been good this whole time?”

The father replied, “Everything I have is yours.”

If God is my Father and everything of God’s is ours, what does that mean?

A God of Love is full of compassion, sweetness, and mercy, and it is ours.

A God of Truth is complete with honesty, integrity, and self-worth, and it is ours.

A God of Life is expressive of strength, comfort, and purpose, and it is ours.

I became comfortable that night and went back to sleep.



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