Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Other Side Of The Story . . .

One of my favorite movies is the Wizard of Oz. (The reason for my love of this movie will need to be a topic for a future post.)  The movie, in black and white, told a good story.  I loved Dorothy and her little dog Toto, her singing and her interaction with her family on the farm. And then that magical moment. You know the moment to which I am referring - the scene when the movie turns to color. While Munchkin Land would have been fine in black and white, the color allows us to take in so much more - the flowers, the yellow brick road, the beauty of Glenda the good witch of the north, and oh, those ruby slippers!   (Oh Auntie Em, there's no place like home!)   Enough about the Wizard of Oz - let's talk about Luke 15 and the story of the prodigal son. 

I have read the story of the prodigal son in  Luke 15: 1-32 many times. I have heard sermons based on the same scripture.  I always found myself thinking about how it must feel to be the parent to welcome his or her son or daughter back to the family.  The purpose of this story, it is often said, is that God also welcomes back the prodigal child - and that prodigal child can be any of use who chose to walk away only to discover that what we needed, what we were searching for or longing for can only be provided by Him.  There is comfort in knowing that no sin is too big for His forgiveness and that He will always be there when I return. 

How about you?  How many times over the years have you heard the story of the prodigal son?  How do you remember this story?    Is it really ONLY about the prodigal son?  Or, does it contain another story within the story?  Are there other "take-aways" for us to apply in our lives? 

While visiting their church with my Uncle and Aunt in California, I heard about a book they would be studying - The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller.   I bought the book, read the first chapter, enjoyed it and thought it would be a good Bible Study.  Recently, the Life Group that meets in our home on Monday nights began to study this book.  My eyes were opened by the stories within the story explained by this author.  It would be fair to say I was "blown away" by examining the story and realizing it is about so much more than the returning son.

I don't want to give the magic away, so I will refrain from sharing too much, but it was eye-opening to see the focus on the older son aka the Elder Brother and his attitude towards the Younger Brother's return.   

Reading Luke 15 now reminds me of the Wizard of Oz - it was a great story but now, it is like the scene in the movie when it all turns to color.  I appreciated the story before, but appreciate it even more now!

Have a blessed day!