‘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. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” So they began to celebrate.
– Luke 15.22-24
The third feast is the celebration of the return of the Prodigal Son! A joyous and wonderful occasion, which is surprisingly hard to find artwork of!
This piece is obviously in a contemporary setting, which offers an invitation to the audience to imagine how they would have taken part – something it is well worth us doing today! However, I rather imagine that the Jewish celebration complete with the slaughter of the Fattened Calf would have been slightly more exuberant affair given that the older son could hear music and dancing as he returned to the house.
This feast reminds us once again of the sheer joy and love which shines through the story of the Prodigal Son and is an invitation for us during Lent to remember that whilst we are fasting, whilst we are remembering the pain and suffering of the coming passion in the Easter narrative we need to not get lost in the darkness and despair but rather to remember the depths of love which motivated the incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension for us.
God is Good!