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16 April 2015

The Lost Son

The Lost Son

Jesus would almost certainly have told a more detailed version of the parable stories than are written in the gospels. Let’s do it ourselves:

Expanded paraphrase of Prodigal Son story

A wealthy farmer called Ezra
 Was the richest man in the town.          
He was generous, honourable and caring
A man of high renown
He had two sons to run the farm
As different as chalk from cheese                                           
Jeremiah, the elder was too mean to spend a cent                         
The younger a playboy, Joseph Never had a cent to spend
Jeremiah was a control freak who had to have his way
Joseph, not keen on work, gambled all the day.

When Joseph got the chance he asked Ezra
"Dad it's your lad. I know this sounds bad
But if I had my inheritance now
I would have enough to look after myself
And I would get out of Jeremiah's way.

 Said dad, "my lad I didn't know it was so bad.
 But it is a sizeable sum? Let me talk to your mum

Ezra was as kind hearted
And loving as you'd find
He gave Joseph his cash. it was quite a stash, 
To realize his dream
Of pleasures extreme
He left home for a town
That was renowned for every excess

Going out with friends
It was always his turn, to pay.
Like bees around the honeypot
These friends spent a lot
On excesses of pleasures and fun: to choose
Gambling, women, drugs, and booze
How could he lose?
This is the life he wanted.

But life has its way to make you pay
For selfish indulgences
Ignoring the twist to manage his risks,
He squandered the money away

Then disaster came on them
Dreadful famine engulfed them
Sweeping across the land
It struck Joseph severely,
He paid rather dearly
It took entirely his whole bounty.
With not a cent left in his hand

Joseph had lost the lot.
His friends wouldn't help him,
They shunned and disowned him
He had no digs, was left feeding pigs,
And himself on their fare

He was filled with despair

This isn't my dream
The joy is in tatters
The fun isn't fun,
The cash has all gone
These friends are not friends
The laughter is hollow
They left him to wallow
In pigs swill.

He was lost in a failed dream
Lost to his family,
Lost all his dignity
Lost his inheritance
Lost in poverty


What can he do?
There was a way through
Swallow his pride
He could go home,

home sweet home
Throw himself on dad’s mercy
"Make me a servant
Not as a son, that is too much to ask
But as a servant, I’ll do any task.

"Yes I'll do it" he said,
He rolled up his bed
Stole some new sandals
And started for home

Home was a long way
His stomach oft empty
His clothes became dirty,
worn, torn and smelly.
For all, he looked like a tramp

Sometimes when he doubted that
his father would accept him
 he was tempted to give it away.
Only remembering his father’s mercy
Kept him from going astray

Jo entered his home- town, looked rather down
At heel.
The rumour went round, Joe has been seen
In the street.

Ezra soon got to hear it,
He hardly could believe it
He said with tears in his eyes
I must rush to meet him
I really want to greet him.
My son, who was lost
Has been is found

so Ezra threw off his coat and
ran down the road
to welcome Joseph home
he threw his arms round him
praise God we have found him
my son was who was dead is alive

“father “Jo started “I'm not worthy to be counted..."
“hush” said his father, “I’ll not hear that talk”
“You're My SON, no matter where you walk”
“my son, you've come back, you've come home”

Let’s throw a party; Joe is here hale and hearty.
Give him the best clothes to wear
Get the best food prepared
The fattened calf of the herd
And the best wine that money can buy.

He invited everyone,
they danced, ate, and had fun
'til the day was done

All except Jeremiah

When he got home he said
"what's the noise I hear?"
"my brother?? What’s He doing here? “ 
“He Spent all the money
 you gave him, outrageously
 have you no sense of decency
He put us in the mire” said Jeremiah
“And now you give him a party?” 
“You never gave my friends a feast”
Said Ezra “My son it’s all yours, yours to do as you like
You can have a party any time you wish
but you are too mean and grumpy

Come in if you want to
Stay outside if you must
But I am going to celebrate
 my son who was lost

The morning after the party, Joe came to confess to Ezra:
You loved me through everything, but I rejected your hand
You treated me as your son but I not you as my father.
You treated me kindly in return I ridiculed you,
You trusted me and I betrayed you,
You taught me good living and I disgraced you
You were honourable in all our dealings but I dishonoured you.
When I came home you welcomed me with abundant joy and I did not deserve it.
You gave me a party before I said sorry
Ezra said to Joe,"Joe I know it is so.
But you have learned by experience

What it is to know hardship
what it is like to be poor,
What it's like to be hungry
What is like to be betrayed and rejected?
What it is like to be humbled
What it to be treated as you didn't deserve
How futile a life of indulgence is?

Jeremiah took Ezra aside.
He said “don’t be soft.
Remember the hurt he has cost
He nearly broke us getting his share
Then squandered it without a care
Dragging your name through the mud
I will tell him his fortune when I get hold of him.
He'll want taken back into the family home
mark my words he will weasel in.
He should bear The consequences of what he has done

"Can a leopard change his spots"
More grief for you is what he's got 
Follow your head and not your heart,
Say "No! No! No!" from the very start
It will save you hurt upon hurt said Jeremiah
Ezra replied Jeremiah -
You have traded on my good name for many years
You have not practiced what gave me my honour
generosity or
Fair dealing

you have been
miserly, harsh,
Bad tempered and domineering
And lived by the letter or the law..

In this you have dishonoured why name as much as Joe.
You are lost in self-righteous, lost in your miserliness
Lost in a world of legalism and consequences.

I intend to open new operations
Where love and generosity rule
Where offences are forgiven
Where the measure is overflowing

Joe is the ideal person to manage this venture
His experience is just what I need.

[John George]

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