The Return of the Prodigal Son
I recently posted a list of resources for ministers who plan on preaching or teaching from the gospel of Luke. You can see that list here. Another book I would like to recommend is The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri J.M. Nouwen. It is one of the best things written on the story of the prodigal son found in Luke 15. In this short book, Nouwen reflects on the text, the painting by Rembrandt, and his own life. It is a must read for anyone who wants to teach or preach on this famous Biblical passage.
Here is a wonderful excerpt from the book.
“At issue is the question: ‘To whom do I belong? To God or to the world?’ Many of my daily preoccupations suggest that I belong more to the world than to God. A little criticism makes me angry, and a little rejection makes me depressed. A little praise raises my spirits, and a little success excites me. It takes very little to raise me up or thrust me down. Often I am like a small boat on the ocean, completely at the mercy of its waves. All the time and energy I spend in keeping some kind of balance and preventing myself from being tipped over and drowning shows that my life is mostly a struggle for survival: not a holy struggle, but an anxious struggle resulting from the mistaken idea that it is the world that defines me.” (Henri J.M. Nouwen)