By: Maggie Leonard
Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32
Reflection—v. 31 ‘you are always with me and everything I have is yours’
The uncomfortable truth of the matter is that I identify with the oldest son much more than I would like to. I think it’s more than us both being the oldest children in our respective families—though I guess birth order and how it affects personalities could have been a thing back then, too. I also have a strong sense of right and wrong. I too worked hard to please my parents. And I also got grumpy when my siblings threw parties at my parents’ house. Don’t get me wrong, I love to have a reason to celebrate, and the return of an estranged family member is just that. But I think he is reminding the son of something more. The exchange between father and son in this passage reminds me of what Jesus said to his disciples in John 10:10, ‘I came that they might have life and have it abundantly.’ Living an abundant life is not only reserved for special occasions. Living an abundant life is about finding joy daily and taking time on occasion to celebrate the goodness of life. Surely, we must celebrate those things and people in our lives that we lose and with whom we reconnect. May we put down our cell phones long enough during this season of reflection that we see the goodness before us and celebrate!
Prayer: God of abundant life, give us attentive hearts, eager to see the goodness before us and celebrate the abundance of life.