Father, open my heart to your word. Reveal yourself to me through your Scripture.
READ: Luke 15:25-32
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ 28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ 31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
“It’s not fair!” If you have children, or have ever been around children, you might hear this phrase quite often. A toy is taken or someone else gets to be the line leader and a child’s natural reaction is to complain about fairness. “Why do they get that and I don’t?” a child may ask. “It’s not fair.” The older brother in Jesus’ story takes this same approach. He can’t quite understand why the younger brother gets different treatment. He expresses his displeasure with his father (verses 28-30) and has a hard time grasping the celebration. Where’s his party? He’s worked hard and made good choices. Yet his brother throws everything away and he gets celebrated? We can hear him say it, “It’s not fair!” The brother has done everything right. The father’s response is quite beautiful. He reaffirms his son, making sure he knows that he’ll still receive his blessing. But where new life is occurring it is necessary to celebrate! Jesus is reminding us that if we aren’t celebrating, we are failing to be grateful. Not celebrating is acting like God is not working.
Do you find yourself like the older brother? Are you more concerned with following the rules than finding lost people? Does it bother you when someone gets what they don’t deserve? Does your heart need to change and focus more on THE ONE?
Father, forgive us when our hearts are more focused on ourselves and less on others. Help us to seek after the ONE and celebrate when they are found.