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February 3 | Luke 15:11-32

DAILY READING


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REFLECTION


Everyone is Watching

by Judy Webb


This is a familiar story, and one we have heard preached from a few different viewpoints. First, the point of view of the youngest son. We don't know just how young he is at this time, but probably not old enough for wisdom and experience to guide his decision-making process. All too soon, his eyes are opened, and recognizes that he is poor, hungry, and hurting.


The next point of view is the father's. He loves his son and because he is older and wiser, recognizes the young son's need to test his wings. The father knows that experience is the best teacher, so he agrees to give the boy what he asks for. It must have broken the father's heart to watch him walk away, but sometimes this is just what love does.


Next is the perspective of the older son. He has been faithful to stay and work the land with his father, not asking for anything extra in return for his faithfulness. But bitterness surfaced when the younger brother returned and was welcomed as the long-lost and still-loved son that he was. A big fuss was made over the homecoming; a party was given and celebration ensued.


Upon reading this story this time around, I recognize another point of view: the father's hired servants. They witnessed the initial heartbreak as the youngster left the nest. Then they watched as the son returned and was welcomed warmly by the once heartbroken parent. The servants witnessed it all - even the jealous pity party of the older boy.


They saw the young son confess his wrong-doing and they were eye-witnesses to the forgiveness and joy the father lavished on the long-lost son. They also saw the older brother's dissatisfaction with the whole thing. Which example did the hired hands take to heart? How might this impact them going forward?


 

Dear Jesus, help me to always be mindful of my actions and who might be watching. Give me a forgiving and gentle spirit to all around me.




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Judy Webb
Judy Webb
03 de fev. de 2022

You are welcome, Robin, and thank you for commenting. Judy

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robin.lorms
03 de fev. de 2022

Good afternoon, Judy.

I must admit I never even thought of the servants and the impact this story must have had on them. Thank you for a new, fresh perspective. It made me think.

As you know, I am very involved in prison reentry ministry (Kindway) supported by our church. Recently, a young man was given another 5 years of incarceration by the Parole Board. One of his constituents observed how he handled this continuance with perseverance, determination to do better, a joyful spirit, a servant mentality to continue serving others and a overall spirit of cooperation and being about the right thing, These observations changed his life!! He saw no bitterness, no complaining, no poor me--NOTHING but a Christ-lik…

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