“. . . no one gave him anything.”
Scripture: Luke 15:13-16
13“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
Reader: This is the word of the Lord. Response: Thanks be to God.
When the “trinity of self” is worshiped, it rewards the worshiper handsomely. Welcome to the world of “self” son! Should we be surprised that no one gave him anything? His primary relationship and friendship was with himself! Stealing a line from a movie, “He was his own best friend!” That is part of the benefit of this kind of worship. Look with whom he was spending his time and money. This was not a community that was known for giving. This was the takers, the crowd of “the trinity of self.” It became particularly evident when everything headed south. (Look at all the people and corporations today with their hands out, people and companies who have “squandered their wealth on wild living,” Look at the people with their hands out wanting “their share of the stash.” Look at those “living beyond their means” expecting someone else to bail them out. We speak not of those who have genuinely fallen on hard times not of their own making.) We see the seeds of humility being planted in the son’s soil of desperation. His loneliness is overwhelming and spurs him to change is course. Change only happens when the pain of the current situation is great enough. People have different pain thresholds which is why some people last longer in horrible situations. In hiring himself out to feed the pigs (unclean animals to the Jews), he has not quite yet reached the pain level that will cause him to alter his course, though he is close. Look for people in your life today who may be in the son’s situation, and extend a hand in whatever form to bring encouragement and hope. Perchance you may even be that person. Go back home. Ask forgiveness. You won’t be disappointed at your Father’s response.
Music: “Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child” Odetta This is the best authentic recording of this piece I’ve come across. I can easily envision the prodigal son singing this to himself as he eats the pig’s food. Remarkable voice!
Prayer: Lord, I am blind and helpless, stupid and ignorant. Cause me to hear, cause me to know, teach me to do, lead me.
–Henry Martyn, 1781-1812