Bible Workbench: Lent 4, March 14, 2010

Text:  Luke 15:1-3; 11-32

But when he came to himself. . .  What would it take for me to come to myself?  To be the real person I was designed to be?

I think of people I know who’ve lived destructively but have come to themselves, getting up and going back to being what they were meant to be.  One was my dear uncle.  As a young man he was a binge drinker.  All his female relatives—sisters, mother, wife—were alarmed.  (I wasn’t; I was too little to know what was going on; I just thought he was wonderful.)  Anyway, one night my uncle stumbled home, into his long, narrow kitchen.  At the other end of the room stood his three year old son, just looking at him with wide eyes.  At that moment, my uncle saw himself and his need through his boy’s eyes and came to himself.  He never touched alcohol again; he became the joyful, loving, and completely generous man that I love and honor to this day, years after his death.

What might it take for me or you to come to ourselves, to really be who we are during this Lent?  Just what might we, like the Prodigal Son, have to lose for this to happen?  How painful or shaming could these losses be?  How might this “coming to” give us something to sing about on Easter morning?

– Caroline Wohlforth


One response to “Bible Workbench: Lent 4, March 14, 2010

  1. I wonder what the conversation between the “two sons” was the next day. The parable doesn’t tell us. Can the elder overcome his irritation and sense of abandonment? Can the younger understand how his choices damaged his father and his brother? How does “coming to oneself” upset the “natural order” in the family, and compel one to learn new ways of relating to each other?

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