Saturday, March 10, 2012

Lenten Daily Dose - 2nd Satruday

When my kids were very young, “Not fair” was a phrase that they would chime back at me whenever something went down that wasn’t to their liking.

“No, you can’t have that” - “Not fair”
“Yes, you need to do this now” - “Not fair”
“Please give that back to him” - “Not fair”

They have grown out of saying the phrase for the most part, but have they grown out of the ‘feeling’?  Have any of us?   And where did they get this notion about life being “fair” anyway?  I always  wanted to blame the kid from across the street, but I know that my parenting had more to do with it.

Today’s Gospel is the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:1-3, 11-32).  Everybody knows the story, books have been written on it, paintings have depicts scenes, even movies made.  Most of the focus of the parable has been on the son that returns.  That is the easy story.  We have all gone prodigal on a regular basis, and strive to find our way back home.  In this Lenten season of repentance it is very relevant to be drawn to that part of the parable.  It is a great story, with a great lesson, showing the mercy of the Father on his sinful son, and the joy that the Father has in receiving the son back when he has repented.  Lent can be all about God taking us back after we confess our sins and see the joy that God has in a repentful heart.

But today I am drawn to the older son.  The Good Son.

Henri Nouwen wrote a book titled “Return of the Prodigal Son” where he reflected on the Rembrandt painting of the Prodigal Son.  The book has three parts where the parable is told though the eyes of the Prodigal Son, the Father, and the Older Son.

The older son did everything right.  Lived by the rules, did his Father’s will and he can’t believe that his dad is going to have this big party for the son that has blown everything and lived this immoral life.  The prodigal did not live by the will of the father and he gets the the party?  NOT FAIR.  The scripture tells us that “He became angry.”

But dad just looks at him lovingly and says, “Everything that I have is yours...”

That is my reflection point of the day.  God has said, “Everything that I have is yours.”  Just because I don’t get what I want, when I want it, how I want it, does not mean that God is not with me.  Just because life can be hard, does not mean that God is not with me.  He has told me that “Everything that I have is yours.”  All His happiness, joy and love is right there for the taking.  All He is asking of me is that I come to Him.

My prayer today Is one for contentment in knowing that we are a child of God:

May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you need to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts received, and pass on the love that has been given to you....
May you be content knowing that you are a child of God....
Let His presence settle in your bones,
And allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.

Through Lent, Father Craig has challenged us to find that desert place to be with God.  Silent reflection is the way to hear God.  I am going take some time to reflect on the Rembrandt painting of the Prodigal Son, and see if God has something to say.  Click on text below if you would like to see an image of the painting.


Chuck Forthaus

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