Luke 15:11-32 The story of the Prodigal Sons.
Both sons used the Father. Both attached their allegiance to their father only based on the plenty and privilege they could receive. Only when one went without that plenty and privilege, did he want to return. Only when stripped of every ounce of dignity did he realize that his father had the most for him. Upon reflection, the wayward son realized the father's generosity even to the hired hand. Generosity changed him.
Why couldn't the other brother, enmeshed in the father's care, see it? Why did the father's generosity not change him? The brother enmeshed in his father's generosity was just as separated from desire to be with the father, it seems.
Which of the brothers actually loved their father?
Is it only after life fails us that we can see our need for God? If our choices always give us what we need and we never come into crisis, will we miss our opportunity to come into the party, the presence of God?
I wonder what the home-bound prodigal son was most angry about? Was it that this party and reinstatement of the wayward son would divide more of his part of the estate? Was it that he missed the heart of generosity of his father all along?
This story raises so many questions for believers. Do we realize God's generosity includes all and have we somehow short-changed ourselves in receiving it? Can we accept and love the late-comers? Will we welcome them in or will we want them to earn it somehow? Is that what we think: that we are earning the Heavenly Father's love by our devotion and service?
Realize this, we serve and respond to what is offered to us as the Father's children and heirs. He is not holding anything back. We never earned it nor deserved it. He invites us all in. Note that in this parable, the father goes out to both brothers.
How has God been inviting you into the celebration? Don't deny yourself!