“Father, give the portion of inheritance that falls to me. So he divided to them his life.” (St. Luke 15:11-32)
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”
So you confess in the Liturgy of the Divine Service. This is the problem with the younger son. He has deceived himself, and the truth is not in him.
However, that being said, this parable of Jesus is not primarily about a wayward son. Rather, this parable is really about the father. It is about a father who loves his son so much he is willing to give up everything for his boy.
You know the parable. A man has two sons. The younger son comes to his father and demands part of his inheritance. What you may not realize is that there is a problem with this right from the start. None of the inheritance is actually his. It all belongs to his older brother. Nevermind that his father isn’t even dead yet.
That is the way it worked in those days. And this is what is so astounding in the parable – the younger son is demanding something from his father that is not his. But even more astounding is that the father actually gives his younger son what he demands – a share of his older brother’s inheritance. He gives his child what he doesn’t deserve.
You know what happens next. It is the most horrible thing of all. The younger son takes his inheritance and wastes it away on all manner of sinful and evil living.
You also, like the younger son, have a loving Father Who is willing to give up everything for you. While you have deserved nothing, He has given you even more than the younger son received from his father. While the younger son received only part of the inheritance of his older brother, you have received all of the inheritance of your Older Brother, Jesus.
How horrible to take the inheritance that is now yours, by virtue of Holy Baptism, and waste it away on all manner of sinful and evil living. If you have lived in such a wasteful state, the Father is waiting for you to return. He loves you with an everlasting love. That love He has shown you by giving you the life of His own Son. Tomorrow, we will see the return of the wayward son. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Daily Lectionary: Genesis 22:1-19; St. Mark 7:1-23
Lent's reflections are written by the Reverend Daniel J. Feusse. Pastor Feusse is pastor at Concordia Lutheran Church in Clearwater, NE.
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, email@example.com.
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