Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32
Author: Brittany Fiscus-van Rossum
Reflection: v. 31, ‘Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours’
This parable has always been one of my favorite hard lessons for anyone who has ever been bitter about others getting what they need. What is it about humans that even when we have more than enough, we become jealous when we believe someone is getting ‘more than they’ve earned’ or more than we believe they deserve? That is not how grace works, and thanks be to God, Jesus reminds us that we have a God of grace. The father in this story cares about the faithful son who has been there all along (and lest we forget, has his father’s resources still). But he also cares about the son who has made a few mistakes along the way. Like this loving parent, God’s ways are of grace. As a frequent mistake-maker myself, I’m glad God operates with grace instead of giving us our just desserts. As followers of this God, what if we too decided to proceed in the world, with one another, with grace. Instead of constantly analyzing whether or not someone has ‘earned’ healthcare or benefits or a day off or a second chance (while often ignoring all the ways we have been given legs-up and may not even be aware), why not proceed with grace first? Why not offer the benefit of the doubt? Why not just decide that everyone should have enough of what they need? Why not decide that someone getting something they need does not negatively impact those of us with more than enough? Grace is free, abundant, and beautifully unearned—thanks be to God. What if this Lenten season we started acting like we follow a God of grace?
Prayer God of grace, help us to operate out of grace too.