Recently our Pastor spoke during worship about the Parable of the Prodigal Son. His main focus being on the extravagant love our Father God has for us. But I wasn't hearing it.You see, anytime I hear a message about this parable, I can only see how badly the younger son messed up and wonder about the OLDER son? I'd like to blame it on the fact that I'm the elder sibling in my family. And so, on the way out the door that Sunday, I asked him..."What about the older son"?
He chose that very subject for his message this past Sunday. Bringing light to the fact that Jesus used these stories (Luke 15) to speak to His audience... and the very first lines tell us that there were sinners and tax collectors (younger son) coming to hear Him, while the scribes and Pharisees (older son) were grumbling.
Needless to say, the message opened my eyes (yet again) to the fact that it's not "all about me".
I've spent the last couple of days talking to myself about how and why I had made this parable about me.I realize now that I was seeing my sister as the younger and myself as the older.I did always have more responsibilities than she, but being older, I should have been an example. It did seem she was forgiven for things I would never dreamed of doing, but it wasn't her fault that I was such an introvert. But still, the story wasn't about me or her or us or our parents.
Sure, she may have been reckless and extravagant but I was resentful and quick to point out who isn't pulling their weight. She may have been a free spirit but in many ways I acted as if I was entitled because I was so "good". I realize I was no better than she, and she was no worse than me. I was no more deserving of any honor. Most importantly, I realize how all the years I've wasted thinking this way have wounded my Father God.
My relationship with Him has nothing to do with my being nice or being good. It isn't determined by anything I have ever done, or will ever do. It is determined solely on a wonderfully generous God who runs to meet me whenever I turn to Him, freely giving His extravagant love.