The story offered this week, gives a window into the story of the Creator and the Universe as a whole.
Two sons offer two different views of religion and religious life, and both have warped perspectives. The younger son feels unworthy after having left and squandered the wealth of his family. The elder son feels cheated after having not been celebrated compared to his younger brother, though he had always followed the father’s commands.
The father offers a word to the elder son’s discontent, and I believe to both sons–and the story’s meaning as a whole. He says, “Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.”
It is a beautiful reversal of what the son perceived the relationship to be based on; hierarchy, control, and legalism. But Jesus turns that perspective upside down and offers the Pharisees and scribes around him a new understanding; the Creator does not come to wield power or sit on a throne for the sake of control or authoritarianism, but rather comes to offer access–always–to the created, and through the created.
God meets us in one another. God meets us in creation. God meets us in our humanity; the best and worst parts. God never holds love or belonging as a reward, but rather as a innate gift of being.
May we hear these words, and know that God–existing within the context of the Trinity, and therefore at God’s very foundation, created in symbiotic relationship–is with us, and for us. The Universe is with us, and for us; Nature, Beauty, Truth, Love, Goodness, is with us, and for us.
“You are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.”