But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found. Verse 32 is wonderful, but I wish there was a verse 33. I understand why there is not. Jesus is saying that we have to write our own ending, figure out which brother we are, and decide if we are going to the party. But still, another verse would not hurt.
What about one of these?
“‘I’m telling you the same thing I told your brother: you can be a servant or you can be my child. It’s up to you.’”
“‘You may have worked like a servant, but the rest of the servants are enjoying the party.’”
“When you think about it, if you have to beg someone to come to a party, then the party might be better off without them.”
“The father remembered how he cried when the younger one left, then kissed his elder son, a tear rolling down his cheek. “
“The hired hand watched from the doorway and wished he had a father like that.”
“The elder brother listened to the music, went inside, and tried to remember how to two-step.”
“The mother looked out the back door and shook her head.”
“The younger brother emerged from the kitchen with three burgers and sides.”
“The band started playing, ‘I Hope You Dance.’”
Even if there was a verse 33, we would still have to finish the story. Do we sing along with the band? Do we grab a plate and get in line at the grill? Do we dance?
What would it look like for you to join the party?
God, parent of us all, father of music, mother of dance, host of the best parties, help me live as your child. Amen.