Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Calvinist Retelling of the Prodigal Son Story

The younger brother wantonly asks for his share of the inheritance, and that means, of course, he wants his daddy dead and nothing more to do with his elder brother.

The father must have been outta his mind and converted half of the estate into cash and gave it to the younger son.

So, off the boy went, cash in the pocket, to find his dreams.

But such things rarely if ever pan out, and what he found, rather than his dreams, was poverty - his money ran out and so did his "friends." His only recourse, hire himself out to a pig farmer, of all things, munching on their food, making a pig out of himself, so to speak.

Well, he comes to his senses - yeah sure - and realizes that he'd be in the gravy again if he could go back home, but, first, he has to construct a worthy repentance sorry, the classic sob-story, to win his father's forgiveness.

When he finally has his thoughts put together, he heads home ...

He's welcomed with joy, or so it seems.

Good food and fine clothing.

All seems good ... but no elder brother to be found.

"Where's my brother?" asks the boy.

"He's dead," says the father.

"What happened?" exclaims the younger son!

"A sacrifice was needed to pay the price for you, m'boy. You offended heaven and earth, you transgressed your family's honor, my honor, and only death, only blood, could set it right. And it had to be someone I loved, loved very much. Only that kind of blood could fill the bill, pay the price, put it right."

"Upon your elder brother, I took out my wrath, my anger, my disgust with your sin. All that you deserved, but I gave it to my eldest son, instead. I had your brother beaten within an inch of his life. My servants here beat him with whips and sticks, spat upon him, humiliated him, and then dragged to that tree on the hill over there, you see it? And there they tied him. And after a few hours, a servant slit his throat."

"His hot blood cascading upon the earth paid the price for your sin. Plunged beneath that crimson flood, so to speak, your sin was washed away by your brother's death. All was set right, which is why I was able to welcome you home, and restore you to your proper place of sonship with me. It's all yours now. Don't you just love me all the more for what I've done. I killed my first-born son for you."

"Oh, but don't ya' know, it was a sad day for me. I wept bitterly at it, but it was necessary. Blood was required. Death was needed. So you could live. Only with the death of your brother for your sake could my wrath be appeased. Only with his death, could my anger be lifted and my mercy flow again. Only with his blood shed on that terrible tree could I love you again."

The younger brother cried out, "But father, was it necessary to kill him?"

"Of course it was. Justice required it. I required it. To put things right again."

"Your elder brother died for you, m'boy. He died for your sins."

The younger boy went away that night and wept.

"Have I done this?" he anguished. Did I cause the death of my brother?

And the next day, he left home again, because such a father could not be loved.

But only feared.

Who might be next?

In a such a world.

Of violence.

And blood.

No comments: