Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Creating Home: A Program on Developing a Sense of Home Grounded in Faith for Grades K-1

The Lost Son

Part of Creating Home

Tapestry of Faith, Creating Home, Session 14 JPEG illustration for The Lost Son

"The Lost Son" (PDF)
Illustration: Nancy Meshkoff

Adapted from Christian scripture.

There once was a father, who had two sons. The younger son wanted to leave home and travel to distant lands. He asked to have his inheritance. So the father divided his wealth and gave each son his half. The older son stayed at home, continuing to work with his father as before. But the younger son went on a trip. He spent all his money having fun, and one day it was all gone.

When the younger son’s money ran out, he was in a faraway land where he knew no one and could not find a job. He finally found a job taking care of the pigs that belonged to a farmer. Often the younger son had less to eat than the pigs, for he was now very poor.

One day the younger son said to himself, “I should go home. Back at home, my father’s workers have bread enough to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, ’Father, I have wasted your money. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your workers.’”

So the younger son went home. When his father saw the younger son coming toward him, he rushed to him and kissed him. The younger son said, “Father, I have wasted your money. I am no longer worthy to be your son.” But the father was so happy to see his son he sent his workers to make a great feast to celebrate the homecoming of his younger son. The father smiled and said, “Let us celebrate. My younger son was lost and now is found.”

About this time, the older son came home from his job. He heard the music and dancing at the welcome home feast. He asked a worker what was going on and was told the celebration was for the safe return of his brother.

The older son got mad and refused to come to the party. His father came out and began to plead for the older son to come inside. The older son said, “Father, for years I have been working with you. I never disobeyed you. You never gave me a party so I could celebrate with my friends. And now, my brother has spent his money and come home poor and you are giving him a party. I’m mad.”

The father said to him, “Son, you are always with me and all that is mine is yours. But we have to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was lost and has been found.”