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Photo by Daniil Lobachev on Unsplash

Part I

While Melissa and her son were getting bathed, her dad got on the phone to Tasha.

“You won’t believe what happened! Melissa came home. You must come over Tasha. We’re planning a party to welcome her home.”

Tasha listened to the news with mixed emotions. She remembered those last years when her sister was home. Chaos is not too strong a word for that time. Tasha was not fond of drama. She preferred order and planning ahead. She hated the sadness she had seen in her father when her sister left. From Tasha’s perspective, Melissa’s behavior toward their dad was unforgivable.

Tasha’s response to her sister’s return was lukewarm at best.

So Tasha definitely was not excited to have her sister home. She was skeptical that her sister had changed. She might have changed for awhile, but her feeling was that once Melissa’s hunger was gone, she would go back to her old ways. Tasha made excuses regarding her plans for that evening but promised her dad she would come by the house in the morning before work.

The next morning Tasha came to the house. There was Melissa with her small son, Liberty. She had to admit that Melissa’s son was adorable. But she wondered if Melissa even knew who his father was! They all sat down to breakfast. Their dad was serious about planning this welcome home party! Tasha was seething. The baby had fallen asleep. Melissa excused herself to put him down.

“Dad, do you realize you have never given me a party like you are planning for Melissa? This is going to be a blow-out of a party!” Tasha seethed through gritted teeth. “I have been here working hard for you for 10 years. I have done everything you wanted. You have never thrown a party in my honor like this!”

Her dad quietly reminded her, “All I have is yours. We share everything in the company. We work together. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you. In fact, Your engagement party is coming up next month. Surely, you would want me to celebrate the fact that my daughter that I thought was dead, is now home safe and is wanting to change.”

Sasha could not believe that her sister had really changed. She was unhappy that her father was so accepting of this change in her sister after all the Melissa had done to him.

Tasha found it difficult to be happy that Melissa was home. She had rarely even thought about Melissa while she was away. Tasha was just relieved to be without the drama of Melissa’s trouble. In fact, she assumed Melissa was most likely lying dead in some back alley by now. It never occurred to her that Melissa might be alive, much less have a child.

Which one are you?

Which sister do you identify with? Melissa or Tasha? One sister kept the rules and had many benefits along the way. Sadly, she had little compassion for those who were not like her.

Melissa was a mess. There’s no question about it. But she came to a point that she realized she needed to change. She went through a hard time as she experienced the results of her poor choices that hurt not only her, but other people she loved.

Now read this passage again. Luke 15:11-32