Reflection by Scott Stoner
Conflict and opportunities for forgiveness within families have been around as long as there have been families. So it is not surprising that two thousand years ago Jesus told of the conflict within the family of the Prodigal Son. This story speaks to us because we can identify with each of the three primary characters: the younger brother who is in need of forgiveness for the mistakes he has made, the father who has the opportunity to demonstrate forgiveness and unconditional love, and the older brother who feels slighted and taken for granted.
When we experience hurt within our families, we have the same choice as the older brother. Bill Miller describes this choice when he writes that if he so chooses, the older brother can “stay angry, distant and judgmental.” Or he can choose to embrace “his long-lost brother and join the celebration, forgiving everyone, especially himself.”
Throughout our lives, we have countless opportunities to practice forgiveness within our families, and so this week we will focus on this as our theme, learning more about what forgiveness and reconciliation might look like within our closest relationships.
Making It Personal: Think of times when you have identified with each of the three characters in the story. Have you ever been blessed to receive forgiveness and unconditional love within your family? Have you been able to offer this to others?
Follow along with us this Lent season with our daily devotional and engage in discussion in our closed facebook group moderated by The Rev. Dr. Scott Stoner & The Rev. Jan Kwiatowski.
In this group, participants will have a chance to share their responses to the prompts in the daily readings, and also the chance to receive additional material for reflection.