Breaks for the Broken

Tom Bartha

READ : Luke 15:25-32

Did you ever feel as follows? “I live in the shadow. My younger brother receives most of the attention. That wasteful, good-for-nothing squandered all he had, broke my father’s heart, and blew everything in wild parties until he came to himself. Then he returned home to a wonderful reception! When the story is told, there I am in the background, the self-righteous killjoy, too disgusted to join the celebration. I cannot deny my jealousy and hurt. I cannot deny this unlovely moment to which preachers point and shake their heads. Isn’t it true that elder brothers and sisters need acceptance just as our rebel siblings?

“Yes, I am responsible and accountable. My sins are not as obvious as my brother’s. Yet as I read my story again, I am reminded that just like my own father our heavenly Father does not love us according to what we deserve, or because of who we have become, but because of who he is. He knows my hidden sins as well as he knows my brother’s visible sins. He seeks after me in my pride every bit as much as he seeks my brother.”


O God, Creator of the elder brothers and sisters of the world, have mercy upon us through Jesus. Amen.