But Better Than Nothing
The very best that can be said of the fallen and redeemed race of Adam is that they confess their fall and condemn themselves for it and try to recover themselves. And this state of mind, which is in fact the only possible religion left to sinners, is represented to us in the parable of the prodigal son, who is described as receiving, then abusing, and then losing God's blessings, suffering from their loss, and brought to himself by the experience of suffering. A poor service indeed to offer, but the best we can offer, to make obedience our second choice when the world deserts us, when that is dead and lost to us wherein we were held!
Its the rest of the story that really amazes me :
But while he was still in the distance, his father saw him and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. The son declared, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’…
But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.…
The best robe.
Posted by: John D. Horton | 12/18/2020 at 08:11 PM
Hmm, that doesn't exactly *amaze* me. I mean, it's beautiful, and I really like its applicability to me as a sinner. :-) But it seems like what a father might actually do. At least some fathers. I guess many would not be able to forgive.
Newman goes on in this passage to talk about the son's absolute readiness to receive whatever punishment is coming to him, that fear and uneasiness on that score don't make him hesitate once he's made up his mind to go to his father.
Posted by: Mac | 12/18/2020 at 10:02 PM