Yesterday, we covered the stories of Luke 15, one of which is the Parable of the Prodigal Son, in my eleventh grade Gospels class, Test # 6. The discussion question was this:
Write a sequel to the Prodigal Son. Tell what the family will be like in ten years.
Like most assignments, the students' level of effort varied. This is what Rachael wrote! It took a great deal of thought!
The father becomes ill and it’s almost time to work out the inheritance.
The older son is still set in his ways and becomes furious at the thought of how his younger brother was put back in the inheritance. The father has tried to reason with the older son multiple times but he remains greedy, oblivious, and full of hate for his brother. The younger son is now married and has three children. The older son is married but childless. The estate was going to be split evenly, but after the last meeting with the older brother, the father secretly switched it and gave the younger brother ⅔ and the older ⅓ and a note. When the father died and the will was revealed, the older son became furious and his fury continued to grow as he read the note from his late father. The note read:
Dear Son, I know that with time you will learn just as your brother did. I understand that you must be upset with my changes to the estate, but give it time and you will grow with wisdom; when that time comes, all my words to you will have meaning and clarity.
The older son ripped the note, took his share, and went off to a nearby city. A few months went by and the older son remained hateful. He created a plan to get back at his brother. He snuck in at night and took two of the kids and leaving a note for his younger brother. The note read:
You don’t deserve the children you have, you don’t deserve a good wife, and they all will come to realize how wicked and irresponsible you are. The child you have left will miss his brothers and begin to hate you, as he should. You will never be the man they believe you to be. You may have received more of the estate, but just wait; it’ll be gone before you know it. Your wife will leave you and take the child. At that time I will write to her and she will receive her other children. Nobody will be there when you hit rock bottom! You will be stuck and I will be prosperous. After reading the note and explaining the situation to his wife, the younger brother searched for his children everyday, but he kept working hard, never neglecting his role as a father or husband. He continued to grow in wealth, thinking of his father. He wanted his children to have wonderful lives filled with the same love and acceptance that his father showed him when he came home. Three years went by. The older brother got divorced, was hated by his nephews, and lost all his money. Finally, the older brother let his nephews go free, and they found their way home. Their father rejoiced and threw a huge party. After the party, the younger brother explained to his sons the reasoning of their uncle. The boys hatred for their uncle grew and the amount of their hatred was evident. Their father sat them down and told them to love their uncle- he was lost but he was still family. The younger brother explained that when we are lost, we are not capable of thinking or acting correctly. That did not excuse what their uncle had done, but if their uncle ever came home and repented, they would love and accept him. Three more years went by and the older brother, who had been sleeping on the streets with nothing to eat, had an epiphany. He made up a speech, explaining that he had sinned and wasn’t worthy of being called his brother. But, he would ask for mercy and ask if he could be kept as his brother’s prisoner; at least then he would have lodging and food. He started to make his way to his brother’s house, but his brother saw him a long way off. He ran to him and hugged him! The older brother began his speech, but was interrupted by his brother ordering his servants to immediately put a robe, a ring, and sandals on his older brother. His three nephews came to him and all kissed him on the cheek. They had a feast that included the best food they had. The younger brother invited everyone in town, including his older brother’s ex-wife. Having known what the feast was for, she wore her best clothes and ran up to the house. She said to the older brother, "I’ve waited for you to become the man you were meant to be, and now that time has come!” The older brother embraced her and started crying. He was home and he was whole!
Applicable quote of the day: Every parent is at some time the father of the unreturned prodigal, with nothing to do but keep his house open to hope.
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