“Symptoms of My Demise”
Sunday I sang, “You know you’ve slipped just a little bit when you’re thinkin’ bout eating slop.” So after all the filet mignon, and the top-shelf wines consumed beside pretty girls and laughing friends it’s come to this: He’s feeding pigs, and wishes they’d share with him…but after all…they’re pigs. Pigs aren’t known for food sharing.
This would have been a shocking turn of events for Jesus’ hearers because of course pigs are not on the food list at all. Caring for them was not something Jews did. Feeding pigs, that’s about as low a job as you could get. When you suddenly find yourself picking through the trough for a pod pea that looks fairly decent…something huge has happened to you. From a favored child to a moneyed traveler, to the toast of the town, a playboy among playboys, to the sty and being an unwanted dinner guest among swine. The downfall was sudden and complete.
The ball has to hit bottom to bounce. And for the son in Jesus’ story “bounce” sounded like something he might be able to do from home. It would depend on whether or not his father might take him on as a hired hand. So he practiced his speech, his admission of guilt, he practiced his newfound honesty. Humble pie doesn’t taste very good. But by the time he got close to home, he had his speech ready.
PRAYER: Lord, we can’t argue with you because you won’t. And the words we use in confession don’t matter much either. Keep us from believing more in our speeches (our prayers) than we do in your compassion. Amen.