March 30

Luke 15:1-3, 11b-19

“But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger!’” vs. 17

The parable of the Prodigal Son is perhaps one of Jesus’ most loved and often preached upon stories, probably because it touches on universal themes that most of us can identify with. We know all about rebellious children and leaving home, and some know all too well what it’s like to get caught up in riotous living. Maybe we can even relate to that moment in life when insights pierce our brokenness and we “come to ourselves.” In Jesus’ story it’s memories that trigger the younger son’s journey home. He remembers what it was like under his father’s roof and how even the hired hands had plenty to eat and drink. We know what that yearning is like, and some of us would love to return to the “good old days” when life was simple and everyone was content. In one sense the prodigal was lucky. He was able to walk out of the pig pen and find the road back home. With us, it’s not so easy. As Thomas Wolfe so famously wrote, “You can’t go home again.” But even if we can’t go back to what we remember, the memories can at least be a reminder that we don’t have to keep eating with pigs. We can move forward to a richer life even if it isn’t what we remember. And who knows? It could even be better!

Thought for the Day: What were my “good old days” like?

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