Tuesday, July 03, 2012

The Death of the Prodigal Son

What if the story of the prodigal son had a different ending? What if when the younger son came home the father said to him “you are dead to me.” Would it still be a story of redemption and salvation? Yes it would. But, you object, the younger son would then have nothing, complete and abject poverty and no family and no hope of help, how can that be salvation? The exile that the younger son experienced, he brought on himself. He was separated from his true self, the one who was son and brother, loved and cared for. He instead chose to leave all that in order to get what he thought he wanted. Maybe he even thought he would find himself in all of the sex and drugs and rock & roll. And perhaps he did. He found rock bottom, complete exile, total emptiness. How is that a gift? It is a gift because of what happened for him at the end of the journey; he came to himself. When he came to himself, he began a new journey, the journey home where he offered his confession of sin. And THAT was his redemption and salvation. He gave himself the gift of removed burden by simply putting it down. He gave himself the gift restored relationship by putting himself in the position where he restored the part of the relationship that he could, his. He came to himself, he looked in the mirror and saw the truth, and ugly as it was, he accepted it...and found his salvation.