The Loving Father The Loving Father "The older son was in the field. He came closer to the house. He heard the sound of music and dancing. So the older son called to one of the servant boys and asked, 'What does all this mean?' The servant said, 'Your brother has come back. Your father killed the fat calf to eat. Your father is happy because your brother came home safely!' The older son was angry and would not go in to the party. So his father went out to ask him to come in. The son said to his father, 'I have served you like a slave for many years! I have always obeyed your commands. But you never killed even a goat for me! You never gave a party for me and my friends. But your other son has wasted all your money on prostitutes. Then he comes home, and you kill the fat calf for him!'" -- Luke 15:25-30 (ERV) KEY THOUGHT: There is no doubt that the behavior of the older son is horrible and selfish. "I've been working hard (lit. "slaving") for you all these years ..." reveals his attitude about his service to his father. He doesn't see what the younger son has discovered; it is better to be a slave in the father's house than to be without the father! What is amazing is the grace of the father. He loves both sons. He has given the inheritance to both sons. So he does what a father would have never been expected to do in that day: he goes out to console his pouting and selfish son and invite him to the banquet. Jesus' point is that our Heavenly Father doesn't want any child to be lost -- not the rebellious child and not the self-righteous child. The bottom line is that the Father loves each and every one of us and wants us all to be a part of his celebration of grace no matter the place we are now!