Unity with the Father

The parable of the prodigal son, recorded in the fifteenth chapter of Luke, has many lessons for us, but the keynote of it may be called unity with the Father. It is recorded in the story that the younger son left home and wandered afar, squandering his substance in riotous living, and that when he came to himself he decided to go back to his father. The account reads, "And he arose, and came to his father:" he refused any longer to be separated from his father, and resolved to come again into unity with him. While much stress has been laid on the son's return, and rightly so, yet the account of the elder brother emphasizes the keynote just as plainly.

Upon the return of the younger son, great preparations for a welcome were made. As the elder son came upon the scene and learned the reason for the festivity, he became angry. Then stubborness asserted itself and kept him from entering into the joy of the occasion. When the father lovingly entreated him to come in and rejoice at the great event, self-righteousness declared that he had served long and received nothing in return. Jealousy next presented itself, saying that his brother had spent his share, and now was to receive more, while he had not even received a kid with which to make merry. Self-justification, which is ever concealing itself under false names, inferred that he was more worthy than the other to receive, for he had not foolishly wasted his living. At this point the elder son was far from his father's kingdom in thought, just as the younger son had been while sojourning in the "far country." He had separated himself from his father by believing in evil instead of in good. Here the father rebuked the error of wrong thinking in the elder son, and set him in his right place, or right state of thought, with the divine statement, the realization of which is destined to destroy all error: "Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine."

June 25, 1927

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