This is the crazy-upside-down kingdom in which last becomes first and first becomes last and the Greatest made Himself least.
This is not the kingdom we’re born imagining, we who argued as children over who stood in the front of the line, led the way down the hill, took the first turn on the swing.
Yet here we live. Here where the prodigal comes home in rags, and is robed and ringed and celebrated, and that elder brother, who’d been working so hard, so long, who was probably so tired, coming home in the dark, looking for rest, stops outside the lights, bewildered at the music, shedding frustrated tears maybe: if there was to have been a distribution of rings, Father, shouldn’t I have had first dibs? Haven’t I served You? Where is my celebration?
That Father who went out, exactly opposite to custom, to welcome home the wandering one, went out also to the one who’d never wandered, the self-righteous one with the martyr syndrome, who thought all gifts should be given in turns, fairly, and according to merit.
That Father might have been harsh, might have been critical, might have pointed to the grudging spirit and all the unrighteousness in that self-righteous heart. But He wasn’t; He didn’t.
Child, all that I have is yours.
All of it, bought by that Greatest-Who-became-Least, given to that first-one-who-wouldn’t-be-last.
This is not the kingdom we were born imagining. It is a far, far better place.
Five Minute Friday again with Lisa-Jo. Join us to write on today’s word, “last,” using the button above.