The Son Returns


The Son Returns paints in a possible background to the story of the lost son and his elder brother as seen through the eyes of two of the servants, Jochaber and Nathan. The dialogue provides relief in a well-known but comparatively long reading.
Reader:Luke 15.1-20a.
JOCHABER:It's been a while since young Simeon left home, Nathan.
NATHAN:Yes, Jochaber, and the master still grieves over him.
JOCHABER:A bit of a bad egg, if you ask me.
NATHAN:His elder brother, Jonathan, is certainly a good worker.
JOCHABER:While Simeon loafed around! Tried every trick in the book to get out of doing work! Knew how to fake a sprained ankle when it was harvest time. Could act pretty well as if he was coming down with the 'flu when it took his fancy!
NATHAN:Jonathan has been the faithful one, hasn't he? When his father gave him a job to do, he knew it would be done.
JOCHABER:Relations were always a bit strained between the two boys, so I'm told!
NATHAN:Just as you would expect. Jonathan had put up with Simeon's laziness for a long time. Resented him a lot. Was glad, in a way, to see him go! Good riddance! I think I even heard him say that one day!
JOCHABER:Yet as you were saying, Nathan, the master still grieves over him. Almost as if he wishes him to come back.
NATHAN:Simeon come back? You don't think it likely, do you? I mean, this place owes him nothing! He said, "Dad, I want my share of the property now!"
JOCHABER:We were all a bit surprised that his father gave it to him and let him go.
NATHAN:So why would he come back?
JOCHABER:I'm not disagreeing with you, Nathan! He's always wanted freedom, independence! And now he's got it. I was really thinking about his father, the master he's been restless ever since the boy's gone!
NATHAN:But he needn't be. Since Simeon has gone, Jonathan has got the farm hands working as a real team. The whole place has gone well without him!
JOCHABER:But the master he goes out to the road every day, straining his eyes for some glimpse of the lad.....
Reader:Luke 15.20b-24.
NATHAN:What a feast, Jochaber! Fatted calf, singing, dancing, the works!
JOCHABER:All because Simeon has come home again!
NATHAN:I'm afraid I don't quite know what to make of it! I still think he got all he deserved before maybe more than he deserved!
JOCHABER:Ah, but he's home! As the master said before, it's as if he had died and has come alive again!
NATHAN:All very nice sentiments, I'm sure, Jochaber! But I doubt it will make the farm a happier place!
JOCHABER:The master has accepted him back. It may seem a little odd, but we're all happy enough about it!
NATHAN:All?
JOCHABER:What do you mean?
NATHAN:Jonathan isn't back yet. He stayed back late because one of the cows was calving.
JOCHABER:He'll be happy along with the rest of us.
NATHAN:We'll see.....
Reader:Luke 15.25-32.

From Between the Lines. Dialogues for Worship by Peter J. Blackburn published by Testimonium Fellowship 1992, (c) Peter J. Blackburn.
Permission is given for copying of this document for local use with this copyright notice intact. For any other proposed use the specific permission of Peter J. Blackburn must be sought.

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