The Homemaking Father

Steven Bouma-Prediger

READ : Luke 15:11-32

But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. (v. 20 NRSV)

The shame of it all. The entire household was shamed by the request made by this impertinent younger son. He couldn’t wait until his father was dead to ask for his inheritance? This was a way of saying “Father, I wish you were dead.”

Instead of punishing the punk, the father gave him what he wanted. And off the boy went, only to squander his inheritance among the unclean gentiles. When his money was gone he pawned his outer coat, family ring, and shoes for something to eat. Then he did something no self-respecting Jewish boy would do—he took a job working with pigs. When he was absolutely famished, he even longed to eat pig slop. He was off the bottom of the Jewish social ladder.

He finally came to himself and resolved to go home. But how could he pay his debts, restore his honor, be accepted? As he approached his hometown he could not believe his eyes. His father, against all custom, was coming to him. And his father was running, a most undignified thing for him to do. Before the boy could take it all in, his father engulfed him in his arms and kissed him. Home at last in the embrace of grace from the homemaking Father.

PRAYER

God of compassion, help us to swallow our pride and allow you to receive us into your loving embrace.