The word “prodigal” is commonly used to describe the son who squanders his inheritance. Yet, this parable invites us to consider how God’s grace is also prodigal - extravagant, lavish, illogical. This parable disrupts and expands our definitions of grace. Once again, grace is not earned.
After wasting his resources, the younger son becomes destitute and returns home to his father, saying, “I am no longer worthy” (Luke 15:21).
In response, his father welcomes him with a celebration and the fatted calf. The older son, in contrast, has done everything “right”—he’s tried to perform, work hard, check all the boxes—but he forgets how to celebrate. How might you receive and extend prodigal grace?