The long walk home
Luke 15: 17 - 20 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father."
What a long walk home that must have been.
Reciting to himself over and over the words he planned to say to his father: "I am no longer worthy ... make me like one of your hired servants."
What do we imagine it would be like to be a hired servant to God the Father? What does it mean to be in heaven as a child and heir of God versus being there as one of the help? Even if your vocation in that space was the same (tending the trees or sweeping the streets), how different it would feel to do those things because the trees and streets were YOURS instead of belonging to someone else!
It must have occurred to the younger son that working in his father's house as a servant would be a bizarre and alienating thing. But he must also have known something about the character of his father. Even if he didn't dream that his father would welcome him back as a son, he must have known that the father would take him back and treat him well - not be cruel or vindictive in his treatment.
Spend some time today thinking about what this says about our Father's character - that those who know him understand him to be fair and not cruel. Does this align with your understanding of God? Why or why not?