Empathy and karmic balance

“A man had two sons …” (Luke 15:11) – such is the beginning of the beloved and well-known Parable of the Prodigal Son. But you know Scripture doesn’t come with titles for such things. That’s just what the parable has always been called. But we could call it something else. The Parable of the Waiting Father? Or perhaps the Parable of the Petulant Older Brother? I guess it all depends on what draws your interest and attention. What about you? Where are your thoughts drawn: to the younger son’s selfish greed, the older son’s arrogant fury, or perhaps the patient father’s extravagant love? Continue reading

Being prodigal?

I have had a life-long interest in etymology, the study of the origin of words and phrases. I subscribe to the Merriam-Webster “Word of the Day”, not for the definition, but for the etymology of the word. I think it was in my first year of theology, the word “prodigal” came up. I thought to myself, “I know that one, it means having lived a less than worthy life, a sinful life.” – probably based on the older brother’s assessment of his wayward, wandering younger sibling.  Who knows? Perhaps the older brother was correct, but the word prodigal means “a profuse or wasteful expenditure.” Continue reading