Behold the lamb
The lamb which is to be slain
Not twelve days hence bore I
This lamb upon my shoulder
Mud and sweat leaching past my brow
The lamb’s wool matted and bloody
Father did not need bid me seek
I gladly left the ninety and nine
In the safety of the shelt’ring fold
While I went in search of the stray
I pushed through brambles upon the scarp
My feet trod well past the narrow path
I clutched at shrubs to grasp the nape
While my brother drank with whores
And when I returned I cried aloud
Found is the sheep who thrice was lost
I shared my joy with the household slaves
Yea, for the the third time in as many days
And now the stubborn lamb for which I toiled
Shall preparèd be for feasting
A savory meal for the honored guest
My brother returned from his debauch
I have counted the cost of obedience
It is a burden I simply cannot bear
Lord, what must I do to be saved?
What does the good news say to you?
Love your enemy, and pray for those who persecute you. I have done all these things.
Even the godless man may find it in his heart to forgive a stranger, enemy though he be. What credit is it to you if you do the same?
How then can I be saved?
Forgive your brother, on whom the Father lavishes so much mercy. For the brother you begrudge and despise may be your greatest enemy.
It’s no accident that Luke 15 comes hard on the heels of Luke 13 and 14. And it’s no accident that the “Parable of the Prodigal Son” is not an isolated teaching, but in continuity with the rest of Luke 15.
I truly wonder what Peter made of this teaching. I pray that it was something similar to what I dreamt up.