|Prodigal Father by Mitch Mann|
The younger child in the story usually gets a bad rap, selfishly taking a half share of the inheritance before the parents are even dead. Then going off to spend it all on 'loose-living', surely not anything that would make the parents proud. Then eventually ending up penniless, scratching out a living doing odd jobs with no benefits. He has squandered the riches of the father's house.
Meanwhile the elder child remains at home, works in the family business, never thinking to ask for even a kid-goat to have a little party with friends. Always there, always faithful, but never suspecting the true riches of the family home. He has squandered the riches of the father's heart.
Then we turn to the image of Christ - who leaves the Father's house and wandering among us on this earth for a brief time. He squanders the riches of his Father's house on loose-living humanity, and offers us a chance to come to our senses, to break away and return to the Father's heart.
Lent is a time to break away, to throw off tired ways, to return home, to return to the best of ourselves, to accept the invitation to turn again and accept the riches our God is offering. I ask for this gift for us all, as I struggle to accept it myself.