Arguably the most well known of the Savior's parables, in the Prodigal Son a father has two sons. The younger leaves home and takes his inheritance spending it on ®riotous living.® Having spent all, this wayward son takes a job feeding the swine and filled his belly with the food intended for the pigs. The parable says that ®when he came to himself,® the younger son determined to return to his father and ask that he be allowed to return as a hired servant. Upon seeing him return, the father took him back - not as a servant, but again as his son. The elder brother, seeing his father's excitement, protested that he had stayed and done as he should. Why was their no rejoicing over his faithfulness? The father replied, ®Thou are ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry... for thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.® - Luke 15:32
This painting comes from the account of a friend of ours whose son was a drug addict for almost fifteen years. One morning, this faithful father received a call from a friend of his son saying that his son was not moving. As a bishop, he was up early and dressed for his Sunday morning meetings. He immediately drove to his son, scooped him off that drug house floor, and took him to the hospital before returning to conduct Sunday services. He said nothing to his congregation, just did his best to help them. Then, returned to the hospital to sit with his son. I include a green vine on this father's tie to remind us that even in our darkest hours there is a hope of new life. Today, that son has returned to the fold and works in a youth ministry helping teens. He explained that it was the love of his parents that brought him home.