“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him..." Luke 15.28
The Parable of the Prodigal Son ends on a knife-edge: how will the older brother react to his father's appeal? The trouble is that he is so consumed with resentment towards his younger brother that he struggles to appreciate that his father owes neither of them anything and so he has no right to object to his father's graciousness to the prodigal. Indeed, his proper response is to rejoice in his father's generosity to them both!
To what extent does the older brother's attitude reflect our own failure to appreciate that, such is the length to which God has gone to reach us with his love and to redeem us through his own suffering and sacrifice, that we have no right to find fault with anyone else; instead, should we not recognise a potential prodigal son in every fellow sinner, while rejoicing in God's mercy towards us, personally and generally?
It is this mutual appreciation of God's undeserved generosity which is the basis of reconciliation. Without it, the world would be under conviction. Instead we are all caught up - even creation itself - in God's great plan to restore harmony to everyone and everything. And all this simply because he loves his creation and wants the best for it - and us. Hallelujah!