// the parable of the lost son

There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

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. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no-one gave him anything.

When he came to his senses, he said, “how many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son: make me like one of your hired men.’ So he got up and went to his father.

But while he was still a long way off, one of his father’s servants saw him and was filled with compassion for him. He went to his master in the fields and told him, ‘Master, the son who left you has returned.’ But his master said nothing.

So the servant went out to the younger son on the road and told him, ‘your father is old, and did not believe me when I told him you had returned. But if you go to him, his heart will be softened when he sees you and he will surely welcome you back into his family’. So the younger son walked fearfully towards the house of his father.

When he arrived at the door of his father’s house it was dark, and he found the gates locked. In desperation and hunger he knocked until his father answered. “Father,” the son said, “I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son: make me like one of your hired men.”

The father said nothing, but looked down at the man on his doorstep, caked in mud and filth, and shook his head sadly.

“No,” he said. “I have no need for servants here.” And with that he shut the gate.

The younger son shrugged sadly, sighed, and set off down the road he had come on.

The father rejoined his remaining son at the dinner table. “You made the right choice, Father,” his son told him. “People like that need proper boundaries.” The elder man smiled wearily, and nodded.

“I know, son. I know,” he said. “By the way, son, thanks for cooking dinner. The lamb is delicious.”

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    • alanna
    • October 21st, 2010

    ouch. that’s pretty hard hitting tom. are you writing in relation to a particular incident?

    • alanna
    • October 22nd, 2010
  1. Alanna,

    I’m not speaking from experience in this case, but it’s strange how brutal the story is when it’s given the ending it should have, isn’t it?

    I wanted to investigate the story of the prodigal son from a couple of different angles and so i’m hoping to explore it for the next week or so. I think it does serve to show off just how ALIEN grace can be though…

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