Samaritan's Song

It’s customary for believers to praise the parable of the prodigal son.

“Isn’t that amazing?” we ask each other, overjoyed.  “Look at that father’s grace!  It’s exactly how God responds to us!”  You are a prodigal son and I am a prodigal son and we are all of us prodigal sons.  Isn’t that wonderful, we say.  Isn’t that such amazing grace?

And it is wonderful.  And it is amazing grace.  But I’d like to be honest and say that if the parable of the prodigal son doesn’t sometimes irritate you just a little, you might be missing another truth inside it.  Because along with being a story about a father’s grace and unconditional acceptance and love, the parable is also a story about how love violates the very principle of fairness.  It is a story about how audacious and sometimes uncomfortable God’s love and forgiveness can be.

Because the…

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