The son who left home
There was once a man who had two sons.
The younger one said to his father, “Father, give me my share of what I must get some day.” So the father divided everything between his two sons.
After a few days the younger son went away. He left with all his money for a country far away.
In that country the younger son wasted his money.
He spent everything he had. His new friends left him. A severe famine spread throughout that country. There was very little to eat. The young man was left without a thing.
The younger son went to work for one of the people of that country. The man sent him out to his farm to take care of his pigs.
The son was so hungry, he wished he could eat the food of the pigs. But no one gave him anything to eat. At last he said, “All my father's workers have more than they can eat, and here I am starving! I will get up and go to my father.”
“I will say to my father, ʻFather, I have done wrong, I have sinned against God, and I have sinned against you, my father. I am no longer fit to be called your son. Let me be like one of your servants.’”
So he got up and started to go back to his father. He was still a long way from home when his father saw him.
The father felt very sorry for his son. He ran to meet him. He threw his arms round his son, and kissed him. Then the son said, “Father, I have done wrong. I have sinned against God and you. I am no longer fit to be called your son.”
But his father called his servants. He said, “Hurry! Bring the best clothes and put them on him. Put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet. Then go and get the calf – let us celebrate with a feast!”
Everyone celebrated the return of the younger son.
The elder son was out in the field. On his way back he heard the music. The elder son became very angry.
His father came out and begged him to come inside. His father said to him, “Your brother was lost. Now he has come back.” But he answered his father, “Look, all these years I have worked very hard. Never have I had a feast!”
His father answered, “My son, you are always here with me. Everything I have is yours. Now we must celebrate and be happy. Your bother was lost but now he has been found.”
Illustrations by Annie Vallotton © Bible Society of South Africa
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