This week we will have a reader's theatre presentation of the prodical son, four voices will play the part of each of the characters in the story. I link this story to the words of Jesus on the cross, "Father forgive them". For his entire ministry, Jesus teaches about relationships, how to mend them with God, how to see the stranger as a brother or sister, to allow for those we have written off a place at our table. The world tries to push the model that we need to have a hierarchy, that those elected to public office have more power and prestige, those who are more successful and have more money are wiser, those of a certain skin color are more valuable. Further, when it comes to righting the wrongs that have been done to us, it seems that revenge, holding grudges, not trusting, punishment are higher values than forgiveness.
The kind of forgiveness Jesus preaches is not an easy task, or without its risks. Who says the younger son of this story in Luke 15, does not go out once again and spend all his father has given him? What if the oldest son is just in his reluctance to welcome his rebellious younger brother back? Forgiveness on the cross means that even in our most dangerous moments we are asked to reach out and care for another, to do all we can to restore the relationship to God and to us. It is not easy to forgive, and it is not easy to find a way of living beyond the celebration of restoration, life will continue to challenge that connection as long as we live. However, this is the life Jesus calls us too, the pilgrim path, full of pitfalls and unknowns. May God continue to guide us the whole way!