You Are Not Welcome, Collaged Papers, Marcia Carole
I have added a page to my Prodigal Son collaged cards. This is a page I have wanted to add for a while, now. I had some further study on this portion of the passage with a friend named Chris. She really brought the passage alive for me. She explained the cultural practices of a Jewish community during the time period in which Jesus is teaching.
The community members would have brought a clay vessel out to the wayward person, filled with lentils or another grain, and they would have smashed it in front of the Prodigal. This smashing of the vessel would signify the Prodigal was not welcome in the community. But, look at the father. He is the intercessor, outruns the community members and embraces his wayward son. Mercy triumphed over judgment.
This is our heavenly Father’s heart toward each one of us. When one contrasts His heart with the community members’ hearts, it only makes the Father’s love all the more profound and significant. The community members are following their laws, being legalistic with their “we can’t have that sort of inferior person in our group” attitude in their hearts. The community members don’t even take the time to hear the Prodigal’s humility and the servant-hearted transformation that has occurred in him. They have to keep the rules.
As I collage these parables of Jesus, I draw closer and closer to Him in my own heart. Thankfully, cancer has no power over my relationship with Him. Cancer can’t remove me from God’s heart, and neither can judgemental people. I have been marginalized and maligned by some legalistic-hearted folks (haven’t we all?), but not by God.
Those who have maligned me don’t know my heart; they have their prejudices and they have their rules. I know His heart and my heavenly Father knows mine. So, when I am feeling a little down about having a chronic illness or I’m not known or loved by judgemental, proud people, I remember the collaged page, and the next part of Jesus’ story, coming just after the ones above. Here it is:
The Father’s Embrace, Collaged papers, Marcia Carole
There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you. James 2:13