A Prodigal Parable

A wayward son left home at the age of 17 to make it on his own and get out from under the thumb and control of his Dad. His parents heard from him only at Christmas.

In time, after all the inheritance money the boy received from his Grandpa was spent, and he realized how good he had it at home, he called his Mom and asked if it would be alright if he took a train to come home. He promised her he was off drugs and was done with loose living. She was delighted but he wanted her to check with his Dad to make sure he would accept him back.

The train tracks ran right behind his parents’ property. There was a large oak tree near the trestle he had played on as a child. “Mom, if it is okay with Dad for me to come home, ask him to tie a white flag on that tree and as I come by I will know whether or not to get off at the next stop. The boy was hungry for home.

He was also nervous. Would his Dad forgive him? Could he come home? When the train took the last curve before his home, he could not bear to look.

He hurriedly asked his elderly seat partner to look and see if there was a white flag on the oak tree. The son closed his eyes and prayed.

Then he heard the man excitedly say, “Did you say ONE white flag, son? Why, every branch has a white flag attached to it!”

Read Luke 15:1-3,11b-32. Who are you in the story? Who is God? Who finds healing? And how? What do you imagine happens next?

(All my notes indicated was that this story came from a CSS Publication for preachers. If anyone has the exact bibliography, please let me know. Thanks!)

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