Sunday, 18 September 2011

Alone but not lonely

We are studying 'The Prodigal Son' with our 15-21 youth group on Sunday evenings this term. Some of you will have studied the series before - it takes an unusual view on the familiar story, looking at each character in turn through a reflection on Rembrandt's painting on the same theme.

Last week we looked at the father and the nature of his unconditional love for his son.  Rembrandt painted this picture near the end of his life - and it seems he identifies himself with the father in the picture.  This week, however, we were examining the prodigal son himself.  As a young man Rembrandt had apparently followed a similar path - spending money foolishly and ending up penniless and dejected.  So he identifies with both characters.  We pondered on how lonely the son must have felt, feeling of no worth to anyone.  He was not alone - his father loved him unconditionally - but he had to make the brave journey home to experience that love once again.  There was much discussion about his shoes - and why Rembrandt chose to paint them that way - and another debate about food - and whether being lonely was when you realised no one cared whether or not you were getting enough to eat.

Whilst we had this erstwhile deliberation, we munched Chocolate Chip Cookies, made by Hannah earlier in the evening.  And we bade farewell to two group members, off to Uni this week.  We hope, as they remember these cookies, loving prepared, if they are ever lonely they will know they are not alone and are loved unconditionally.

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