Summary: This is the second of a two-part series looking at the story of the lost son. This week’s message looks specifically at the older brother.

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In the Wrong Shoes

Luke 15:25-32

I had draped two new pair of sweatpants over the side of the red, plastic shopping cart as I approached a display of items at the end of a row in Target this week. There was a younger couple standing there already, and I can only assume they were registering for an upcoming wedding because they had one of those scanning guns in hand and were trying do decide which item to scan next.

I didn’t really want to reveal what I was there to purchase, so I pretended to be preoccupied with the items on the next shelf until they left. It seemed like it took them forever, and I had plenty of time to consider how silly I was being for waiting. When it came to the sweatpants, I didn’t care about the people walking by as I searched for what I wanted. Why was this any different?

When they finally left, I was free to browse the selections of their bathroom scales. There were about eight to ten models, but it took me about ten minutes to make a selection. Each scale seemed to have a different set of options. While all of them claimed to measure your weight in pounds, some of them could measure body fat by sending a small electric pulse through your body. Not only that, supposedly they could measure your muscle mass, your body’s hydration level, your BMI reading. What does that even mean?!

I started to wonder if there was a scale that could tell me the latest sporting news or information about the weather. Ultimately, I made a selection, completed my purchase, and arrived home ready to tackle my new goals. Last week I joked, tongue-in-cheek, about New Year’s resolutions; but, to be honest, I made some and my health was near the top.

What was my problem? Why was I so self-conscious about picking out a bathroom scale? Some of you are probably think I’m being foolish, but I really wanted some privacy as I examined the scales. Unfortunately, I know exactly why I needed a little elbow room. When I stand on the scale, I’m not happy with what it has to say.

Out of all of the options available, I made certain my scale wasn’t one of those talking scales. The last thing I want is for my children to hear this piece of metal coughing and shouting, “Get off…I can’t breathe!”

The reality is I need to make some serious changes in lifestyle. When my wife married me eleven years ago, I was over 100 pounds lighter. (I don’t think this is what she had in mind when she wanted me to become a greater man.) Not only am I not happy with what the scale has to say, my own doctor is in on it and has encouraged me to take action.

Because we’ve just come through the holiday season, I probably

wasn’t the only one who approached the scale with much fear and trepidation this past week. There are just times in life when we don’t like what the scale has to say. Our story, today, deals with a different sort of scale—the scales of justice—but it contains a character who is outraged by a terrible injustice that has taken place…an older brother who doesn’t like what the scale has to say.

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