Plot Twist: Week 10 - Day 1
Dear God, help me to see a well-known story with fresh eyes today and throughout the week. May I grow in you! Amen.
Read: Luke 15:13-14, NIV
“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.
The parable of the prodigal son is one of the most familiar stories in the Bible. If you grew up in church, you probably heard it taught as an illustration of God’s unending grace for us regardless of our transgressions. That’s the surface meaning of this parable - and that surface meaning is great! However, a better name for the story would be “Two Lost Sons” as the elder son’s behavior is just as, if not more, important for us “church folks” to reflect on. Later this week, we’ll take a look at why the elder brother’s moralistic behavior is also problematic.
In today’s scripture, however, we read about the younger son’s poor decision to take his inheritance and waste it on self-indulgent living and eventually falling into destitution. We can compare this younger son’s choice to taking the path of self-discovery and self-fulfillment, both popular life choices to this day. The younger son doesn’t think what the father has to offer him will be enough so he rejects his place in the family and sets off to forge his own exciting path.
As much as most of us like to believe we are nothing like the younger son, I believe we all share some of his tendencies. It’s tough to give control of every aspect of our lives over to God. As human beings, we crave control and we believe we know what will make us feel “happy”. So, we follow the correct path, more or less, but still keep our grip tight on behaviors or emotions we know we need to let go of. God is gracious and patient and forgiving but there is freedom to be found in giving up control. What are some things you’re holding on to that you know you need to give up to God? Whether it’s anger with a friend, control over a challenging situation at work, or a vice that you’ve held onto for too long - give it to God today.
Loving Father, I apologize for the ways I’ve acted as my own savior. I know that your will and plan are perfect. Amen.