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The Prodigal Son

            Jesus tells the parable of the lost son to demonstrate a story of God's unconditional love. It is a story of exile and homecoming of a son who attempts to find affirmation and praise in the world instead of seeking God. I see the roles each of the sons play in this story and the lessons to be learned by both.
             The younger son is bored with his daily duties on the farm and tells his father he wants to travel and see the world. He asks for his inheritance so that he may travel to a distant country. The reference to a distant country struck me as odd. He had a good home life and a loving father who gave him free will and yet he chose to go a long way from home.
             I see myself in the role of the younger son. How many times have I chosen to go away from God's will and tried to seek acceptance in the world where I will always have to affirm and reaffirm my self-worth with others. I, by my own free will, refuse God's willingness to receive me as his own and ignore his truth that has been revealed to me.
             The lost son realizes he left the place he felt most loved and accepted and started his journey home. He was afraid of his father's reaction to his homecoming and prepared himself to be disowned by his father and work as one of his hired men. He did not trust his father to love him unconditionally, but offered to work as a hired man so he could survive. He realized he could not make it on his own and his father was the only resource left to him.
             I, also, have been untrusting of my heavenly father's love. Even after my spirit has been broken and I am on my way back home, I still expect God's grace to fall below what he promises. I do not want to take advantage of what God has promised me, but I also do not want to set expectations and limits on his forgiveness.
             The elder son's character comes alive in the latter part of the story. He is infuriated by the treatment his father gives his younger brother upon his return.

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